Studies show that 80 percent of teenage girls and 20 percent of boys in the United States struggle with negative body image. Pixelberry Studios and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) are aiming to help teenagers combat this in their most recent version of a popular app, High School Story.
High School Story is a popular mobile game that educates teens on a variety of issues by letting them create their ‚Äúdream high school.‚Äù Previous versions have addressed topics like cyberbullying and have seen over 10 million downloads. The cyberbullying version also reached over 2.5 million teens, raised $250,000 for the Cybersmile Foundation, and saw 100 players a week contacting professional counselors in-game.
The most recent release sets out to educate teens about developing healthy attitudes and avoiding eating disorders. The main character is Mia, a girl who starts crash dieting and over-exercising after hearing a hurtful comment about her body. Through Mia‚Äôs quests, players learn about where body image pressures come from and how to address them in positive ways. It also encourages open dialogue about body image and eating disorders with friends and family, which can be a vital step for teens to get help.
The game also features FAQs about healthy body image and a way to contact counselors at NEDA for support.
To view the app, visit http://www.highschoolstory.com.
– Tiffany Rhoades
Girl Museum Inc.