This is brilliant.

[SPOILER ALERT: This will go into spoiler territory, so if you haven’t played episode two of Life is Strange yet, you read at your own risk. To read my thoughts on episode two, go here.]

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[WARNING: This will also discuss bullying and suicide]

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Life is Strange: Episode Two deals with some major issues head on. One character in the game, Kate Marsh, is subjected to bullying by the “queen bee” of Blackwell Academy,  Victoria as well as her “cronies”, harassment from its head of security David Madsen in its first episode, slut shamed in an online video and as a result, contemplates suicide towards the episode’s end.

Whether you save her or not depends on the choices you make throughout the episode. I wrote about how I handled it here.

But I’m not here to write of my experiences of the episode outright. Rather, something else related to the episode.

After the teaser for episode three rolls, there’s a message scrolling underneath the flash screen for the next episode. In it says the following:

“If you’ve been affected by any of the content in Life is Strange, please visit our website at www.lifeistrange.com/talk for details of support groups in your area.”

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This is just incredible. To the best of my recollection, not one developer has ever done this before with a game. To say the least, I massively applaud Dontnod Entertainment and Square Enix for putting in stuff like this into their game.

It’s basically the equivalent of, in the UK at least, a continuity announcer popping up on BBC One or ITV after an episode of Eastenders or Coronation Street after a episode which deals with similar issues to say, “If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in tonight’s episode of Eastenders/Coronation Street…” followed by issuing websites and phone numbers to call related charities, depending on what the issue discussed was. If I remember correctly, the BBC has its own number set up for stuff like this too.

To fellow developers who bring up issues like bullying or suicide in their future games, please consider doing something like this. If it can change at least one life for the better, it’ll all be worth it. So please, do it.

To fellow gamers, please encourage your favourite developers on social media to do this if it fits with their game. This is something that should be included.

And to Dontnod Entertainment, thank you for doing this. Seriously, this will help beyond any mere words I can write. Thank you.

So please, at the risk of sounding like a cliche continuity announcer, if you have been affected by the issues mentioned in Life is Strange – or you just feel depressed and need someone to talk to – go to the link above or go to The Samaritans in the UK. You can go to their website at Samaritans.org or call 08457 90 90 90 (Republic of Ireland: 116 123).

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