PlayStation game helps veterans in prison deal with trauma

Digital art project in Liverpool allows ex-servicemen to use a virtual world canvas, FF Gaiden, to explore their past experiences

The pent-up fury and impotence that Iraq war veteran Jay Bell felt when he found himself back on Civvy Street could easily have landed him in prison, had it not been for a Liverpool-based digital art project aimed at ex-servicemen doing time.

The 30-year-old ex boxer, who served in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers from 2004 to 2009, highlights his training to “kill for a living”, to underline his astonishment at the way the slide of his life into chaos has been reversed by art. He observed the same effect on prisoners he worked with at HMP Altcourse and HMP Liverpool, as a volunteer on a project with Fact – the Liverpool-based media, film and digital art centre.

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