In partnership with Facebook Gaming, The Game Awards’ Gaming Global Citizen recognizes individuals who inspire change and positivity through the power of games. This year, one of the recipients of the award is Luke, a 12-year-old boy from Montreal who built a video game about depression to help cope with the loss of his father to suicide.

Titled “Let’s Be Well,” Luke’s video game was created using the massively popular platform Roblox, an accessible system with over 100 million monthly users that lets you make your own interactive experiences. In Let’s Be Well, you play as a Bob, who has depression. You navigate him through an obstacle course of gray blocks that become colorful as he steps on them, symbolizing recovery. Along the way, prompts pop up to teach the player about depression.

Luke is the first child to receive the award. He was “pleasantly surprised” when he received news that he would be recognized at The Game Awards. At the family’s request, Luke’s last name was not used by The Game Awards, Facebook or in his interview with The Post due to his age.

“At first I was shocked — pleasantly shocked — because it’s a huge honor and I was super surprised,” Luke said. “I was really touched that [the show] acknowledged my game and that it would be featured and shown to such a wide audience.”

Luke: helping kids to understand mental health within Roblox

Inspired by his family's story, Luke, 12, created a game within Roblox to raise awareness around mental health. The game, Let's Be Well, was designed to help kids understand mental health and to spark conversations about depression and other issues. More information: https://www.letsbewell.co/

Posted by Global Gaming Citizens on Thursday, December 12, 2019

Luke came up with the idea for the game after attending We Day, which is a large, annual event in Canada that centers on youth empowerment.

“I saw all these all these other kids who at a very young age — like my age — were making a difference,” Luke said. “I saw that and I decided to make a game surrounding mental health to kind of de-stigmatize it.”

He loves video games, especially ones with “an element of creativity.” Aside from Roblox, he enjoys Minecraft, ARK: Survival Evolved and Terraria. Games like these have spurred his interest in game design, and he calls Roblox “intuitive,” as it lets you “insert code into certain objects or sprites very easily.”

Does this mean Luke will eventually launch a career in game design? He’s not so sure, as his ambitious interests go beyond just games, including video editing and astrophysics.

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