Why

Why did we make Shadow’s Edge?

We understand the courage it takes to face the emotional side of what you are going through. We wanted to make it a little bit easier, by making the process fun and creative. You have an incredible story to share—a story that is still unfolding. Shadow’s Edge, will help you discover and be proud of your story.
By playing Shadow’s Edge, we put you in the driver’s seat. You take control of reviving the city of Shadow’s Edge by expressing your thoughts and feelings. As you do, you may find yourself more confident and resilient– skills you can use in your real life too. We built Shadow’s Edge to connect you to other players that are experiencing a similar journey. And at times, Shadow’s Edge can just be a fun distraction, to help calm everything on your mind. We hope Shadow’s Edge helps with all of this.
Why Writing and Art helps
You have a lot going on. You deserve the chance to discover your story and find your voice. That means getting in touch with your feelings and likely figuring out what everything you are going through means, to YOU. Writing about it can help; that’s why Shadow’s Edge is filled with questions to help you explore your inner self.
Be open and honest. Write about things you might not dare tell anyone. Or write about the things you are learning. Get your feelings off your chest. Record inspirations you don’t want to forget. You will discover a lot about the REAL you. Trust you have the answers inside.
We know there is even more to expressing yourself than just writing. Art is a different way to get out your thoughts and feelings. The graffiti in Shadow’s Edge encourages you to express yourself in an artistic way. You may be surprised by what comes out—it’s all good.

Both art and writing work together to help you learn about yourself. The more you know about yourself, the more you can express yourself in real life by sharing your true self with others. The more you put yourself out there, the better people can understand and help you.
You may find that after playing Shadow’s Edge you communicate better. You may feel like others are there for you in a way they weren’t before. It all starts with you. Find your voice and use it. You have the power, you are in control!

What’s behind the game?

When the storm hit Shadow’s Edge, it was like life was placed on hold—frozen in time. Sound familiar? We have different parts of the world that represent the stages most people go through when they are faced with a significant challenge like yours.

Disruption is the first part of the game, where everything seems surreal, barren, broken. You may feel tough enough to power through, but you may find whatever had been working just doesn’t anymore, that’s when the next phase starts.

That’s Disillusionment. Here the world feels heavy. This stage challenges you to rely on parts of yourself you may didn’t even know that you had. You start to see light at the end of the tunnel, but quite possibly, have no idea how to get there. Until slowly, one day, your life starts to click again.

That is where Discovery starts, where the new you is emerging. You begin to feel more confident to share your real self with the world. You see possibilities you didn’t before and start to own your story and be proud of it.

…i wanna know more about the stage metaphors in the game…

We talked to our teen experts, those teens and young adults like you who have dealt with illness challenges in their lives, to learn about their experience. We also worked with professionals in hospitals, like doctors, nurses, child life specialists, and social workers, to create a game that represents what you are going through. Of course, not everyone’s situation is the same, but we combined ideas young patents and healthcare professionals gave us to create game worlds and characters that symbolize the common stages and feelings that players like you may experience. Here are a few more details about what to expect in the different stages:

Disruption – This is the first stage after the storm – cars are floating and upside down, objects attached to nothing, yet not broken, just in shock. The world is dark and unbalanced, set in early morning as it is the first day. There is nothing growing yet, just the possibility of transformation.

In your real life, your whole world may feel turned upside down. Everything seems out of order—you might feel you are living in someone else’s life. When things don’t go as planned—which is far too often now—you might find yourself anxious and impatient. How can you cope? Do you try what’s worked before? Maybe you feel strong like you can “handle it.” You may feel angry or perhaps you feel nothing at all, like you are numb. All of these are normal responses when you are in Disruption.

Disillusionment – In this stage, the dust has settled in the world, water has found its way back, and the weather is drizzling. There are narrow views and a low light with a slight mist and some plants have started to grow. The buildings are strutted and the windows are boarded up to show an inner turmoil and being closed off. Yet there is some scaffolding—something, even if unintentional, is happening.

In real life, this is the stage when things had been working and coping seemed easier, just don’t work like before. Nothing seems familiar and it may feel as though you don’t know which way to turn. Stuck and lost in space—how can you go on? You feel disconnected—perhaps even lonely. Your feelings may flood in, at times feel overwhelming. It may even feel scary, but it is comforting to know this is all normal. Going inside yourself to “refuel” can help. Will it ever stop? You may come to realize that if you cannot change the situation, you can only change yourself–but how? These are the kinds of questions you may ask yourself when you are in Disillusionment.

Discovery – In this stage, seeds start growing, and the moss which covers the city shows new life. The weather changes and you can move higher and higher up in the world, to gain insight and an overview of your world. There is more visibility—the lighting is bright and the revived city is getting ready for the big return.

This represents how in real life, when faced with an intense life situation, somehow there is a point when you begin to move through it emotionally. You may feel that you are not just getting by, but getting through it. You begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and may try different paths to get there. Possibilities become clearer. You have discovered so much about yourself–but yes, at a cost. You begin to accept that cost and may actually be OK with your “new normal.” You’re ready to move on. You have so much to share with the world. You are in Discovery.

So how do these game worlds fit together in Shadow’s Edge?

Your gameplay has a direct impact on the world, just as your actions in real life do. By expressing yourself with words and graffiti, you have the power to bring back life to Shadow’s Edge. You’ll see plants start to grow, the weather gets better, lights comes on, the world get greener, and creatures, even families, come back. All this symbolizes how everything you experience brings meaning to your world.

Why is resilience important?

We say that Shadow’s Edge helps you build resilience, but what IS that? Resilience is your ability to bounce back from a major setback. It means relying on your own strength and character, but also knowing how to get help so you get through a tough time. Resilience sometimes requires that you adapt your perspective or, at some level, accept what you are going through. How you frame what’s going on for you and “make sense of it all” builds resilience. The more proactive you are in dealing with your challenges, the better you may feel about yourself and perhaps also about your journey? Sometimes just being real about your feelings and sharing them with others can help you connect in new ways. These skills for building resilience get developed while playing Shadow’s Edge.

Why the name Shadow’s Edge?

We wanted to create a name with a bit of mystery, that fit with the story and also with the world of Shadow’s Edge. In the story of Shadow’s Edge, this is represented by a shadow that was cast over the world when the former inhabitants of the city stopped pursuing their inner truth, which resulted in a terrible storm.

In the design of Shadow’s Edge, we played with shadow and light—to bring out the possible, from the darkness of the storm. Play for a while and you will see what we mean.

At times, people may associate shadows with something dark and negative. A shadow can feel like something that follows you, like the threat of darkness to come. It’s a metaphor, like how a medical condition at times feels like a shadow hovering over you.
But at the same time, a shadow can be motivating. A shadow may actually help lead your story. You may choose to stay ahead of the shadow, so then, that shadow may then actually push you to your true potential. On the edge of that shadow, you may find a ray of hope where you can cross into the light—that is, if you dare. It’s up to you.

Why is a community important?
It’s tough going, living with a health challenge. Having people in your community listen and share what they are going through, can be extremely helpful. A community can give you an opportunity to get things off your chest, in your own time, within a judgement-free environment. Plus, it helps you realize– You are not alone!

Sharing what you’ve learned with other players who may not be as far down the road as you are, can help them in their journey too. Not only does it feel good to help others, it also can feel good to share your story. Every time you share about your experiences, you express yourself a little differently, which helps you define your story and who you are.

Why the Guardians?
The Guardians do a lot more than explain the game and the story of Shadow’s Edge. They each represent one of the stages of the world that they are stuck in. Their look, clothing, mannerisms, and even what they say and how they say it, work together to help you recognise these stages in yourself. They are a virtual friend that helps you progress through the game. Maybe reaching out to friends in real life won’t be so daunting after all.