Worcester students developing video game aimed at youth drug prevention

College students developing video game aimed at youth drug prevention

A video game currently in development in Worcester is targeting an important, but unlikely, audience when it comes to the opioid epidemic.

"Journey to Blackwood" is being created by Becker College students and is geared towards third and fourth grade students.

Ilir Mborja, an assistant professor of Interactive Media at Becker who is supervising the students on the project, says, "We have to make it interesting for the players to play the game, but also we have to implement the necessary skills that will help avert addiction in a specific game."

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The goal of this fantasy-based game is to arm children with tools that will help them make good choices and stay away from drugs.

Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early donated $5,000 to help fund the game's production, with money from assets seized from drug dealers.

The students like working on something that goes beyond fun and games.

Savannah Gaspar, one of the students working on developing the game, says "It's exciting because you're not just making a game to make a game. You're making a game to help people and influence lives so it's very inspiring."

To make sure the game's message is effective, the students and professors have consulted with both officials from the Worcester public schools and experts in Becker's psychology department. The goal is to have the game finished by next year.