Playing on your computer has been seen as an isolated and indoors pastime, but The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside is turning that around by employing games that will introduce users to nature and help their mental wellbeing.
This year the Trust are launching their brand new Minecraft sessions as part of our hugely successful green wellbeing service, Myplace.
It comes at a time when getting outside and socialising is more difficult than it has ever been and young people are spending much more time indoors.
“We’ve never been afraid of doing things a bit differently here at Myplace” says Myplace Manager, Rhoda Wilkinson: “Using video games and a platform which people are already familiar with seemed a perfect way to reach out to individuals who might otherwise have struggled to engage with us.”
“It can sometimes be difficult, particularly for young people, to get out to sites. From the practicalities of transport, to the anxiety of the unknown, and now a global pandemic. Many of the gaming tools out there already provide lots of links to nature, just without people realising it. We want to use these to get people involved with nature and actively learning about conservation in a fun and relaxed environment. We hope young people will then have the opportunity to come out to site and have a go at some of the activities they’ve been doing virtually.”
For many people, playing video games has been an important way to stay in contact with one another and step back from the stress of living through a global health pandemic.
At the start of lockdown, Myplace introduced online sessions so they could continue offering their vital service. Seeing how successful these were encouraged them to get even more creative with the kinds of things they could offer to people, which is how the idea of using Minecraft came about.
Minecraft is a video game which involves exploring worlds and finding resources to be able to create anything you imagine. The Minecraft sessions will include many of the activities you might expect from a normal session outside with the Myplace project; like creating new greenspaces, going for walks, learning about nature and working collaboratively on projects.
The sessions are completely free, thanks to funding from the More Positive Together programme and will be led by a trained member of the Myplace team.
To find out more about our new Minecraft sessions, or any of the sessions visit: www.lancswt.org.uk/myplace.