Rosemary Lokhorst

Producer at Shadow's Edge

Rosemary Lokhorst

Producer at Shadow's Edge
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Rosemary Lokhorst is a writer, technology entrepreneur and award-winning game producer. During her ascending career, she has worked in several Fortune 500 companies before investing in and joining a start-up with the mission of improving quality of life through technology in urban developments, the now award-winning software company Living PlanIT.

Over the years, she developed a keen interest in the storytelling potential that technology offers in getting a message across. Discovering her creative side through that process, she now uses her ‘techspertise’ to produce content she is passionate about, focusing on impact messaging in entertainment and gaming.

Her project Shadow’s Edge, a free self-help game for young people with physical and mental health challenges has won multiple awards around the world.


Graffiti & Guardians – Is gaming the new pill?

In recent years, the gaming industry has truly embraced the use of psychology in digital games. But how about the other way around? While physical games have been used in psychology for hundreds of years, why is using digital games to address emotional health not more pervasive? 2 of 5 young people globally have at least one chronic condition by age 24, such as cancer, diabetes or asthma. Of those with chronic diseases, 60 percent also have psychological issues. From GPS to sensors, mobile technology is becoming more and more sophisticated in the health space. Healthcare applications are on the rise, with a number of them incorporating game mechanics into their processes.

See why games can play a vital role with lasting effects in the mental wellbeing of patients. We’ll show how games are used as a distraction for patients, as an alternative to pain medication, or to create awareness about illnesses. We’ll show conversations with patients that face health challenges and the potential of the gaming industry to help them work through the hard stuff that comes their way. We’ll present examples of games, from mainstream games in use in therapies, the potential mainstream games have to raise awareness for these issues and specific games in this space. Audience takeaways include the potential for games in the mental health space, our experience and learnings from bringing a free game for emotional health to market and from turning a game into a digital therapeutic.


Can a mobile game change a sick teens life?
Young people play games for fun. But what if games could do more? What if we could play to improve our emotional health? More and more young people struggle with chronic illness or disabilities. Medically, they are being treated better than ever, but no one talks about the scary side of illness. No one helps them heal emotionally. Shadow’s Edge is a free mobile game created to empower teens dealing with serious health challenges to help them work through the hard stuff that comes their way. It’s like therapy in a game. But how do you show that a game can support emotional health? We conducted an impact study with our players to prove that playing a game works for them. This presentation will show how we defined emotional health and resilience, created the method to, and then conducted an in-house study with young people in the midst of their health challenge. The presentation will reveal the results of our study and its impact on the further development of Shadow’s Edge to make it serious fun for young people in need.

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