LONDON TEENAGERS TAKE THE FIGHT AGAINST KNIFE CRIME INTO VIRTUAL WORLD Monday 31 March 2008 PDF Print For immediate release: Contact: Kris Turvey Tel: 0208 694 6201 Mob: 07794324386 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org A team of young people from across London have come together to produce a life-like computer game to warn their peers about the dangers of knife crime. The game, entitled “Soul Control” was created by a group of 20 talented young people from all around London aged 16-19, as part of a youth-led project by multimedia education company RollingSound. The project, which was set up to harness the creativity of young people at risk of social exclusion, was funded by Mediabox, the £6 million Department of Children Schools and Families fund to help young people have a positive voice in the media. The young people taking part in the project, most of whom who were categorised as NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) were taught skills in top computer game design software – including the same software used to create the movie Shrek – and then used their new-found skills to design and build their own game: Soul Control, which they have now made available as a free download for other young people. “It’s similar to games like Grand Theft Auto,” explains Stephen Mazonis, 18, one of the games creators and originator of the project idea. “Only in Soul Control, you play a teenager on a London estate, and have to interact with other characters in the street, your family and your mates.” The game aims to show the longer-term repercussions of criminal behaviour, such as carrying knives or dealing drugs, in a realistic way. Ben Guiste, 17, who helped design the game’s graffiti-strewn environment added: ““We wanted to show what it’s like for young people, as well as showing how easy it is to get trapped in this kind of lifestyle”. In Soul Control, like in real life, the more criminal behaviour you take part in, the more your choices and options eventually run out.” The young people involved in the project are now putting Soul Control, which also combines film and music which they produced themselves, online as a free downloadable game at www.soulcontrolgame.co.uk from Thurdays 3rd April. RollingSound are so impressed with what they have produced they are now seeking funding for a second phase of the project, to develop a more in-depth game that covers the whole of London. Simon Bennett, who set up RollingSound four years ago as a way to help tackle the growing number of young people in the UK who are categorised as NEET said: “Soul Control is an amazing piece of work, by a very talented group of young people. We’re really proud of what they’ve achieved, and hope to take this project much further – we believe Soul Control has real value as an educational tool.” Soul Control is a rare positive move in a climate dominated by debate over the dangers of video games. In March, TV Psychologist Dr Tanya Byron’s government report into the effects of video games on children recommended the introduction of tougher age-classification systems for games, which the Government is now set to implement. The Soul Control project has been helped by the fact that some of its creators have first hand experience of the sharp end of the issues explored. Just over a year ago Reepa, one of the young people working on the project, was in a prison cell, facing his tenth sentence for a cycle of violence, robbery and burglary that began when he was fifteen. Now, through his participation in the Soul Control project he has learnt new skills in film making and music production, and is now planning to set up his own record label. “I’ve seen a lot of bad things on the street,” said Reepa. “But it’s definitely getting worse. I hope young people play this game, and see that there is another way.” For more information about the Soul Control project, contact Kris Turvey at RollingSound on 0208 694 6201 or email email@example.com RollingSound are one of London’s largest Youth Outreach Multimedia Providers. RollingSound has been at the forefront of Digital Multimedia Education for 4 years working with every London Borough on projects ranging from week long Youth Club Music Workshops, to cross borough NEET Multimedia training over 2 years. Mediabox is a £6 million Department of Children Schools and Families fund to help young people have a positive voice in the media. It offers disadvantaged 13-19 year olds the opportunity to develop and produce creative media projects, using film, television, print, radio or online platforms. For more information about Mediabox grants for young people, visit www.mediabox.co.uk ENDS. NOTES TO EDITORS: 1. Photos of Soul Control project enclosed. Further photos available on request. Photo Credit: Charles Whatley 2. Behind the scenes 2 minute documentary available at www.youtube.com/soulcontrolthegame 3. Photo opportunity for the launch of Soul Control on 3rd April 2008, 3.30pm at RollingSound, 23-25 Arklow Road, New Cross, London, SE14 6EB. Tel Kris Turvey for more information. 4. About Mediabox: Mediabox is a Department for Children Schools and Families fund to help young people have a positive voice in the media. It offers disadvantaged 13-19 year olds the opportunity to develop and produce creative media projects, using film, print, television, radio or online platforms. Mediabox is delivered by a consortium led by First Light Movies and Media Trust in partnership with Skillset and the UK Film Council. For more information visit www.media-box.co.uk Mediabox enquiries please contact: Sam Jobber, Marketing and PR Manager, Media Trust, Tel: 020 7874 7642, Mobile: 07977 144 719, email: firstname.lastname@example.org This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of RollingSound in the following categories: Children & Teenagers, Education & Human Resources, Public Sector, Third Sector & Legal, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.