This Life is Strange-themed anti-bullying campaign uses gaming for good

"Every day is another chance to be a hero"

One of the reasons Life is Strange was one of our favourite games of 2015 was its willingness to tackle difficult issues that included domestic abuse, bullying, suicide, drugs, mental health, and many more issues besides. Dontnod made a notable effort to highlight that these are issues which exist in real young people’s lives from all backgrounds, including a message at the end of each episode of the game encouraging those effected by its subject matter to visit a support page on their website. It was refreshing to see a developer so socially aware and keen to demonstrate that they understood they had a responsibility to their players because of the sensitive nature of their content.

Now it appears that the game’s publisher, Square Enix, is taking Dontnod’s desire to support those who need it even further by teaming up with the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights to launch an anti-bullying campaign based on a campaign in the Life is Strange universe. Using the hashtag #EverydayHeroes, which takes its name from the in-game photography competition, Square Enix is asking people to share stories about how they, or others, have “overcome adversity, stood up for what’s right, or helped a friend in need” like Max does frequently in the game.

Square Enix is promising that with every story shared using the hashtag until January 19th, they’ll increase their donation by an unspecified amount to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Centre. You can visit the official website for the cause here and check out some of the inspiring stories that are being shared. In the game, Max can be a hero not because of her ability to control time, but simply by being a friend to someone who needs one, by listening and paying attention to those around her.

It’s really refreshing to see Square Enix and Dontnod continuing to use some of the most positive aspects of their game to do good, particularly when a lot of cyberbullying and harassment can be found in the gaming community itself.