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August 13, 2020
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Press Releases
  Schell Games Partners with play2PREVENT to Tackle Opioid Addiction and Prevention
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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

PITTSBURGH ー December 5, 2019 ー In an effort to deter adolescents from using and misusing opioids, game development company Schell Games is working in conjunction with the play2PREVENT (p2P) Lab at the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games to develop a digital game that will serve as a resource in the fight against youth opioid addiction. Due to the rise in opioid use among adolescents, play2PREVENT and Schell Games will create an interactive teaching tool that captures the power of videogame engagement and incorporates components of effective substance use prevention programs. The goal is to develop an evidence-informed intervention that curtails the start of opioid misuse in adolescents. 


No strangers to the educational gaming scene, Schell Games and p2P previously partnered to bring forth Play­For­ward: Elm City Stories, a game whose goal is to provide at-risk young teens the opportunity to acquire and practice skills for risk reduction and HIV prevention. For this upcoming title under the PlayForward umbrella, Schell Games will work closely with p2P to provide players with behavioral skills and knowledge through engaging videogame play, targeting adolescent perception of risk of harm from initiating opioid misuse. 


Putting its game design expertise to good use, the Schell Games team will assist in developing a mobile gaming experience that not only draws in players, but also informs and educates them on drug addiction. Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games said, “We’re very proud to be part of such a courageous initiative and are thrilled to lend our game development knowledge and experience to assist in opioid addiction prevention.”


This project is being funded by a grant from the National Institutes for Health through The Helping to End Addiction Long-term, or the NIH HEAL Initiative. Launched in April 2018, the NIH HEAL Initiative aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose, and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.


To find out more information about the project, please visit the website for the National Institute for Health.

About Schell Games

Schell Games is the largest full-service educa­tional and enter­tain­ment game devel­op­ment company in the United States. Founded in 2002 by award-winning game designer and author Jesse Schell, the studio heralds a highly talented array of artists, program­mers, producers, and game designers. Schell Games creates highly engaging experiences for mobile, VR/​AR, PC, console, handheld, online, and social; LBE and theme park attrac­tions; connected toys; and virtual worlds. The company counts some of the world’s most respected brands as clients, including The Walt Disney Company, Google, Facebook, Yale Univer­sity, SeaWorld Parks and Enter­tain­ment, and Fred Rogers Productions. For more infor­ma­tion on Schell Games, visit


About play2PREVENT

The play2PREVENT™ (p2P) Lab was founded over 10 years ago, with funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute on Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)/NIH. The p2P Lab focuses on the use of “play,” in the form of videogame play, for the purposes of health promotion, risk reduction, social good, and educational interventions. They harness videogame technology to create engaging and effective methods to convey information and teach skills that lead to behavior change, translating to healthier and safer lives. Their videogame interventions focus on behavior change, education, health, well-being, and social intelligence, using the most rigorous scientific methods and metrics available. These games have the capacity to deliver effective interventions with high levels of engagement, fidelity, reach, scalability, and impact. To learn more about p2P, visit


About the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit