Richie Knows the first social network designed to connect gamers with players in their local communities for conversation, competition and support through a new mobile web app, is unveiling Vent, its virtual mental health spa feature .
While gaming is often perceived as a solitary, isolating experience, it can also foster a strong sense of community and engagement. With support from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization, Richie Knows has created this inclusive and supportive space for users to become part of a community where they can know that they are not alone.
"Vent is where gamers can participate in conversations where it's OK to not feel OK," said Rich Melcombe , founder of Richie Knows. "Gamers are experiencing an array of mental health issues and we're creating a safe environment where they can be themselves and listen to each other."
Vent will provide opportunities to learn about mental health issues, participate in interactive support experiences and to hear and be heard by mental health professionals vetted by NAMI Westside Los Angeles.
Vent will include the following features throughout Richie Knows' four-week Alpha Test , July 22 – August 21 :
Support Chats: Gamers and NAMI facilitators will discuss a variety of mental health issues followed by a Q&A session, with questions submitted via Richie Knows' Vent subreddit.
Overheards: Have you ever accidentally overheard people discussing personal issues? Take the awkwardness away from eavesdropping by listening as two gamers discuss their struggles or mental health issues. Conversations will be followed by a Q&A with a mental health professional.
Journeys: Notable or interesting figures from the gaming community share their journeys coping with or overcoming a mental health challenge. They'll be joined by an expert from NAMI for Q&A.
Love Bytes: A live, no-taboo conversation about navigating the world of sex, love and relationships in gaming culture. A relationship expert or sex therapist will be available for questions.
Vent will also include information and links to NAMI-vetted mental health organizations and hotlines. Following Richie Knows' Alpha Test , much of Vent's content will be made available on the Vent subreddit so that users can continue to access these tools and support systems.
In addition to Vent , Richie Knows' features will include: a series of five tournaments spanning a variety of genres and platforms; a unique, reward-for-engagement system where users can interact with the app to earn Richie Coins , which can be redeemed for eGift cards; a search and matching system to connect with gamers with similar interests for play sessions; and free, in-person Camp Richie events (as COVID protocols allow).
Gamers interested in joining the Richie Knows Alpha Test may sign up at RichieKnows.com .
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SOURCE Richie Knows