By Allison Watkinson
In collaboration with the Dove beauty brand, Toya has launched a new self-esteem focused Roblox game called Super U Story.
Toya is a female-led, user-generated content game studio that produces games on the Roblox platform with a strong focus on community and world-building.
“With thousands of games made every year, it’s astounding that none of them address the continuing societal challenges and pressures that young girls face every day, especially in regards to their bodies,” said Anat Shperling, the Founder and CEO of Toya.
“In reality, we all come in different shapes, sizes, colors, abilities and that should be reflected and celebrated in the digital content and worlds that are consumed every day, which was a driving force for why we created Super U Story,” Shperling continued. “We created the experience to encourage reflection and spark conversations that we hope helps the next generation avoid the struggles that women face today and instead accept themselves as they are, beautiful, in so many ways.”
Super U Story was developed with support from the personal care brand Dove as a part of the Dove Self Esteem Project. The game is designed to appeal to girls between the ages of nine to 16 and marks the Dove brands’ first foray into the video game industry.
Super U Story is a story-driven game that helps players experience the many versions of what modern beauty can be. Characters within the game represent diverse body types, skin tones, and abilities.
Through gameplay and in-game messages, players are inspired to reflect on their own body confidence and encouraged to reject unrealistic standards, especially those perpetuated in social media.
Super U Story was created by a dedicated team of women, including Art Director Anastasia Travova, who until the beginning of 2022 was working on the game from her home in Kyiv, Ukraine. Even though she had to flee her home, she was able to continue working and lead a global team of artists for the creation of Super U Story.
“Looking back at the beginning of the year, the surrealism of creating miraculous and beautiful worlds while hiding in a shelter was very strange,” said Anastasia Travova, Art Director of Super U Story. “I spent nights sleeping in my car in an underground parking garage, with air raid sirens blaring, and hearing in the news all the atrocities committed around me, and then, in the morning log into an ideal virtual world that was being created to make the world a better place.
“Getting away, and keeping my creative passions alive made it easier to endure living in a warzone,” Travova added.
Super U Story centers around The Academy – a school for kids and teens with superpowers – that is under siege by a group of rogue students bent on spreading negativity. The mission is to help players find their unique superpower of flight, fire, water, or speed, to destroy the poisonous negativity that is threatening The Academy.
Players can customize their own avatars allowing them to experience more representative versions of beauty, team up with friends to explore the Academy, earn power-ups and complete quests.
Super U Story is currently in beta and available to play for free with zero in-game purchases. The game fully launches in late Fall 2022.