by Agueda Pacheco Flores
Inside a cabin surrounded by greenery, flowers, and evergreens are colored pebbles, pots, labels, a compost machine, and a seed-creator machine. The sound of birds chirping and a little goat can be heard periodically. A few steps away from the cabin is a cave, and on the walls of its entrance is the question “How are you feeling today?” with buttons for emotions, such as happy, angry, hopeful, and stressed.
The virtual reality (VR) game, called “De-Stress Gardening,” is alluring for the same reason many agricultural farming games are popular: They are designed to imitate nature, and as opposed to being competitive, are goal-oriented and have low stakes. But “De-Stress Gardening” is still more unique. It was co-designed by a group of 12 teens from around Seattle (as far south as South Park and as far north as Greenwood) with the help of The Seattle Public Library (SPL) staff and student interns from the University of Washington (UW), with the goal of destigmatizing mental health.Continue reading Seattle Public Library Helps Teens Explore Mental Health With Virtual Reality