We are a research and development lab that aims to establish the scientific foundations for effective mental health games. We empirically validate our games with rigorous research designs, we share our data publicly, and publish our results regardless of outcomes. We are also committed to developing a theoretical framework and new methodologies that stipulate how to use games to experimentally test theories of psychological change.



Our international partners include developmental psychologists, neuroscientists, veteran game developers, and artists whose objective is to harness the power of play to transform children's emotional lives. We co-design game experiences based on empirically validated principles, together with clinicians, parents and children themselves.


Welcome to the Games for Emotional and Mental Health (GEMH) Lab! We are committed to meeting young people in the digital playgrounds they have chosen to inhabit and providing choices that delight and empower youth while also training emotional resilience skills.

Events View all events

  • 16
    About the event

    Neurodiversity and Games


    R-Building, University of Antwerp

    Ken Koontz joins a panel discussion about "Critical perspectives on the therapeutic potential of videogames" at the Neurodiversity and Games Symposium.

Latest Projects View all projects

  • Project Lead Category Project Status
    Nastasia Griffioen Social Media Recruitment

    XCAVO: Realigning Your Digital Life

    About the project

    Digital media are designed to serve many different functions: socialising, working, building relationships, as well as playing and being entertained. In this project, we seek to understand the impact of different features of digital media, and help youth align what they value and love with what they do on digital platforms, in order to increase wellbeing and coherent identity development.

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  • Project Lead Category Project Status
    Abele Michela Behavior Regulation Writing Dissertation

    DUST: Decisions Under Stress Training - A Biofeedback Training in Virtual Reality for police officers

    About the project

    The work of a police officer can be seen as an evolutionary paradox: in places and situations where most people would fall prey to survival instincts of self-preservation, police officers ought to act calm, with proportionality and benevolence. This is why police officers need to train control over their responses to threat as much as possible. To enable this, we develop a virtual training environment with real-time biofeedback. We combine virtual reality and biofeedback to create a personalized, realistic training experience, while honing state-of-the-art technology and psychophysical theory.

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  • Project Lead Category Project Status
    Aniek Wols Resilience Writing Dissertation

    Nonspecific Factors in Video Games for Mental Health

    About the project

    More and more games are designed to promote mental health. If these games are found to be effective, it is important to investigate which factors are responsible for the improvements in mental health. Most often, this type of research focuses on the specific clinical techniques that were designed into the game. However, from the clinical literature it is known that, for instance, expectations, motivation, and one’s mindset about the malleability of symptoms play a major role in positive intervention outcomes. In my project I aim to investigate these nonspecific factors and examine how we can manipulate these factors in order to optimize video games for mental health.

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We Need Youth Advisors

Are you between ages 18-24 yrs old?
Earn compensation while working with game developers and researchers creating playful interactive media.

More Info



NEW Perspectives|OLD Challenges

We are excited to work with professionals from different industries, please contact us to discuss creating new playful and meaningful experiences toward improving mental and emotional health.