It’s funny, when the Digging Deep team was building our game, Shadow’s Edge, we looked at game release day as a kind of finish line – we thought we would work really, really hard and then the game would go live and we would all high five and breathe a sigh of relief, like those videos of engineers in the NASA Mission Control Center when a probe touches down. Now a little more than a year after the game went live, we’re realizing that instead of a finish line, releasing the first version of our game was just the start. And 2018 was busier than ever!
Along with releasing a new version of the game based on extensive player testing – always 100% free! – we translated the game into French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi, in hopes of helping young people around the world build resilience during chronic illness or serious medical challenges. We also launched a new version of the Shadow’s Edge website and are working hard to update the Digging Deep website, which now has more than 260 blog posts by professionals, parents, and survivors of chronic and serious illness.
The result? We are honored to be the recipient of numerous awards in 2018, including the following:
- Best Mobile App for Health
- Digital Health Award for the website and blog
- Digital Health Award for the game
- Nominated for an Edison Product Innovation Award
At the same time as we have been working to make the game the best it can possibly be, we have been working to spread the word, speaking at conferences including Games for Health Conference in Eindhoven, Netherlands, the Stanford Medicine Innovation Showcase, the Ronald McDonald House National Managers Meeting, and many more. Digging Deep and Shadow’s Edge now have a more than 45,000 followers on our active social media, including the following:
- Digging Deep Facebook: 19,721
- Digging Deep Twitter: 9,544
- Digging Deep Instagram: 5,690
- Shadow’s Edge Facebook: 4,338
- Shadow’s Edge Twitter: 3,126
- Shadow’s Edge Instagram: 1,692
Our outreach is paying off. In the U.S., media has covered our game and our mission, both of which come from the fact that our founder, Sheri, is herself a 30+ year survivor of an aggressive brain cancer. (For example, check out articles in Rachel Kelly, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Child Therapy Toys. And working with partners in Brazil, we have reached media including O Debate, Yahoo Esportes, Gizmodo Brasil, which has helped us make Brazil our fastest-growing user base.
Now as it nears 2019, it seems like we’re crossing another finish line: The new version of the game is built, we have new sites at diggingdeep.org and shadowsedge.com, our blogs and social media are vibrant and popular, and we are reaching communities connected to pediatric illness. But now we know better: This isn’t the finish, just another version of the starting line. In 2019, the Digging Deep team is excited to continue bringing our vision of emotional healing during and after illness to young people who continue to struggle. With your help, we will make it happen.