Coverage in the Media

Youth don’t want to be bystanders to bullying April 13, 2013: Local youth will tackle a series of anti-bullying workshops, as part of ACCESS' Speak Up for Change program. Full Story

Peel students gather to help make a difference February 20, 2013: Young people must “let go” of their comfort zone if they wish to make a mark in society, some 200 Peel high school students were told at the fifth annual Youth Making a Difference Conference, held at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Full Story

Peel Students gather at UTM for Conference February 14, 2013: The one-day event aims to educate, empower and inspire local youth to make a difference in their communities. Since its inception, more than 2,000 students have attended. At the conference, youth will break into groups to develop concepts for initiatives in Peel to help with their given topic (poverty, the environment, diversity, mental health and aboriginal issues). Full Story

So you want to host a youth conference: How to make your next event truly engaging January 14, 2013: A feature story about youth conferences, including tips and recommendations from ACCESS founder Daniel Francavilla. Full Story

Group takes a step to help December 12, 2012: Shoes To End Poverty, also known as STEP, is being mentored by Brampton-based ACCESS. The story of ACCESS’s creation is not unlike that of STEP. Full Story

Youth use arts to inspire positive change June 5, 2012:  ACCESS is announcing this year’s Arts for Change Showcase taking place on July 14, 2012. The showcase will be an afternoon full of inspirational performers, stimulating artistry, networking and community-building. Full Story

Youth ‘desire to inspire’ at ACCESS Charity conference May 2, 2012:  ACCESS ran its fourth annual Youth Making A Difference Conference in Mississauga. In line with the conference’s theme “Desire to Inspire,” the speakers shared their own stories as inspiration for the 180 students who took part in the April 26 event. Full Story

ACCESS gets $62,000 February 8, 2012: ACCESS, a youth-run charity in Brampton, received a $62,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation recently. Full Story

Playing ball hockey for charity November 16, 2011: The first annual Charity Ball-ACCESS U Laurier hockey tournament raised funds for charity projects including a library restoration in Haiti through ACCESS. Full Story

Teens learn to give May 10, 2011: Workshops developed to help young people become active community members attracted about 200 teenagers to a Brampton community centre for the 3rd Annual Youth Making a Difference Workshop. Full Story

Five years of ACCESS for youth education March 9, 2011: The impact of the life-changing trip in 2006 was evident March 5 when supporters gathered at Brampton City Hall to celebrate the fifth anniversary of ACCESS. Full Story

Accessing you | ACCESS U – Laurier September 22, 2010:  Student-run non-profit organization begins leadership workshop series and fundraising at Wilfred Laurier University. Full Story

Local youth raise funds for mission to Haiti July 15, 2010:  A group of local volunteers is fundraising and preparing for a 10-day trip to Jacmel, Haiti, as talk of continued need for the troubled Haitian people continues. Full Story

Arts can change the world June 16, 2010: Arts for Change is an unique way to raise awareness about the organization and it offers a chance for young, talented youth to get their “big break” in front of peers and a youth-oriented, non-profit organization, said Daniel Francavilla, president of ACCESS. Full Story

Students embrace social justice March 26, 2010: Every idea– big or small– has the power to make a positive difference. That was the crux of the message some 250 high school students from several schools in Peel heard from their peers here. Full Story

Community Expo held for newcomer youths March 2, 20120: Volunteer MBC (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon) has paired up with the Youth Exchange Program in Peel to host the second annual Community Expo for newcomer youths. Full Story

Building a Civilization of Love May 7, 2009: ACCESS founder Daniel Francavilla participates in Radio Teopoli's live show "A Civilization of LOVE" at St. Patrick's Elementary School. Listen Here

Supporting a dream through school expansion project in Jamaica February 5, 2009: As a collaborative development project, ACCESS is involved in the expansion of a primary school in Jamaica. Ken Cooper, a Brampton, Ontario resident, took time to visit the school he attended 36 years ago while on a recent trip to Jamaica. Full Story

Canadian teenager gives poor children ACCESS to a dream January 2009: Confidence Bound Magazine asks Daniel Francavilla, now a university student, what it was that drove him to do what he did. The interview is available in its original magazine page format as a downloadable PDF. Full Story

Students collect supplies for Honduran children September 12, 2008: ACCESS called upon community members to consider adding extra items to their back-to-school shopping carts for students in the developing world who have very limited access to these items. Though still on summer break, several high-school students volunteered to help make the annual fundraising event a success. Full Story

Youth input needed to drive change in society While many youth in North America play video games and listen to their iPod's, many others living in Third World countries can't even go to school or eat due to impoverished conditions.  Are the youth in our community even capable of getting involved with these global problems? Some people think so. Full Story

Students show importance of education: Contest June 28, 2008: Brampton elementary school students from grades one to eight submitted a wide variety of entries to the ACCESS Charity Student Contest. Students were asked to express creatively the value of school in their lives, why children in the developing world should have access to education, or why they like school. Full Story

ACCESS granted to kids in Third World June 20, 2008: Two years have passed since travelling to the Dominican Republic on a high school exposure trip, but he has since established a student-run non-profit organization, raised $20,000 and sent a few large shipments of supplies to help children attend school in three different countries. Full Story

ACCESS launches Student Contests April 21, 2008: Student-operated ACCESS Charity launched a new initiative for local elementary school students. The Student Contests are focused on the value of education and are available to students at select elementary schools in Peel. Full Story

Symposium assures Youth Can Move the World February 25, 2008: ACCESS Charity joined over 20 other local organizations and over 250 youth for this year’s Youth Can Move the World Symposium. The event was held at the HJA Brown Education Center in Mississauag on Saturday, February 23, 2008. Full Story

Annual School Supply Drive a success September 4, 2007: ACCESS Charity and members of the Youth Ministry at St. Marguerite d’Youville Parish raised over $1300 and collected several boxes of school supplies during the annual School Supply Drive for students in the developing world. Full Story

Building a classroom in Colombia April 4, 2007: ACCESS Charity continues to expand in giving children a chance at education as the charity takes a big leap forward by building a classroom in Colombia for kindergarten students. Full Story

Unlikely Hero to the Rescue July 14, 2006: In a time when the world needs heroes, 15 year-old Brampton resident Daniel Francavilla heard the call. The St. Marguerite d'Youville student created a unique charity, the sole function of which is to bring aid to less fortunate children living in the Dominican Republic by providing them school uniforms and other supplies. Full Story

Poverty moves student to action June 30, 2006: Starting a charity for children in the developing world is not an average pastime for most young people. Daniel Francavilla is not your average youth. Sara Loftson reports on these experiences in the Dominican Republic and the charity work that he has started. Full Story

Brampton student starts charity June 19, 2006: Daniel Francavilla, a grade 10 student from Brampton, started a charitable organization called ACCESS - "Allowing Children a Chance at Education with School Supplies" after traveling to the Dominican Republic in early 2006 for a Dominican Republic Exposure Experience. $8,500 has been raised so far. Full Story

The benefits of storytelling in video games

April 9, 2015 A wealth of studies have shown that violent video games contribute to antisocial and aggressive behavior. But what makes those games appealing in the first place?

One possibility is that storytelling plays a role, particularly if it lets players engage in meaningful choices.

A new study suggests that non violent video games that capitalize on such storytelling have prosocial benefits that could ultimately be helpful to clinical disorders such as autism.

"The motivation to engage in and enjoy video games corresponds with principals that apply to human motivation

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in general," says Daniel Bormann of the University of Freiburg. "For instance, successful game franchises offer players a spectrum of meaningful choices to shape the game's narrative and environment, provide carefully balanced challenges, or encourage players to experience social connectedness and meaningful

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social interactions." Research has suggested that the satisfaction of those needs results not only greater motivation to play but also enhanced well being and a more immersive experience.

Bormann and his colleague Tobias Greitemeyer wanted to explore this concept further, to see whether storytelling fosters immersion and changes how players are able to assess the mental states of others (called "theory of mind"). Immersion, Bormann says, "is characterized by an experience you might have enjoyed while watching your favorite movie for the first time the sensation of being transported to another time or space, as though you are taking a real journey, or the feeling of being emotionally impacted by the protagonist's fate."

To test the role of in game storytelling, the researchers randomly assigned participants to play one of two video games. In the first game Gone Home, the player slips into the role of a female American college student, arriving home after a year abroad. The player comes upon an empty house and has to use various clues to figure out what happened to her missing family members. For the control condition, the game was Against the Wall, in which the player has to climb up an infinite wall by interacting with the bricks, in surreal but human made surroundings. Apart from a brief description of the environment and goals, the game provided no narrative elements.

For the game rich in storytelling (Gone Home), researchers provided one group of participants the game developers' instructions and provided a second group of participants instructions to register, memorize, and evaluate various properties of the game. After 20 minutes of gameplay, all participants completed a task in which they assessed facially expressed emotions. The researchers used this task to evaluate the players' capacity to apprehend others emotional states (theory of mind). The players also completed a survey to assess the amount of immersion and need satisfaction they experienced while playing.

As published today in Social Psychological and Personality Science, the researchers found that narrative game elements contributed to a more immersive video game experience. They also found that being immersed in a game's

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story supports players in perceiving opportunities for meaningful choices and relationships. And they found that the narrative elements affected theory of mind.

"Although the effects regarding theory of mind were relatively small, we were excited to see initial evidence for the short term enhancement through in game storytelling," Bormann says. "Importantly, this effect was

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specific to the condition in which participants actively engaged in the games narration, while the mere exposure to the narrative video game did not affect theory of mind, in comparison to playing a neutral video game."

Together, the results suggest that in game storytelling contributes to a more immersive and satisfying video game experience while also fostering skills that are useful to players on a day to day basis. While more work needs to be done to examine these effects, Bormann says that long term work on narration in video games could yield promising opportunities.

"If further research could reveal how exactly in game storytelling affects theory of mind," he says, "clinicians and software developers could utilize this knowledge to develop tools to aid the treatment of disorders characterized by social interaction impairments, like autistic disorders."The paper, "Immersed in Virtual Worlds and Minds: Effects of In Game Storytelling on Immersion, Need Satisfaction, and Affective Theory of Mind" by Daniel Bormann and Tobias Greitemeyer, was published in Social Psychological and Personality Science online on April 9, 2015.

The journal Social Psychological and Personality Science is a collaboration from the Association for Research in Personality, the European Association of Social Psychology, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and is co sponsored by the Asian Association of Social Psychology and Society of Australasian Social Psychologists.Articles Connexes: