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.


The GEMH Lab

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.

Latest Updates

Game Lounge

On Monday 30 October, the GEMH Game Lounge will open up for students at Radboud University. Every day between 12.30-13.30h students can come to the Lounge and play some (relaxing) games. The games in the Lounge include both commercial games as well as in-house developed (health) games.

** In case the Lounge is very full or you would like to play some games at home, check out our recommendations!


Events View all events

  • 26
    About the event

    Games for Mental Health in the Lowlands


    KU Leuven

    The symposium will be held in the renovated building 'Collegium Veteranorum'

  • 14
    About the event

    Jong en Depressief 2


    Congrescentrum In de Driehoek

    At this (Dutch) conference trends, causes and treatments are discussed concerning depression in youth.

Latest Projects View all projects

  • Project Lead Category Project Status
    Hanneke Scholten Substance Abuse Recruitment

    Designing and Testing a Video Game to Help Youth Quit Smoking

    About the project

    Smoking is one of the leading public health problems in the world. Currently, there is no evidence-based intervention program available to help youth and young adults quit smoking. Besides the lack of high-quality research, recruitment and retention of youth and young adults are two of the most challenging aspects of the implementation and evaluation of smoking cessation interventions. We argue that limitations in current smoking cessation interventions for youth can be maximally addressed by using video games as interventions. In the current project a video game will be developed and tested on its effectiveness and mechanisms of change to help youth and young adults quit smoking.

    view this project

  • Project Lead Category Project Status
    Joanneke Weerdmeester Anxiety Data Collection

    Biofeedback Videogames for Anxiety Regulation

    About the project

    This project aims to develop and assess the use of biofeedback videogames to help youth cope with stress and anxiety. In addition it aims to identify physiological markers and patterns of emotion regulation. The current studies within this project focus on exploring the potential of the virtual reality biofeedback game DEEP where players use deep diaphragmatic breathing to move through a beautiful underwater world.

    view this project

  • Project Lead Category Project Status
    Elke Schoneveld Anxiety Writing Dissertation

    MindLight - Childhood Anxiety Prevention

    About the project

    Many children have difficulties with fearful situations and are anxious. Interventions can help to teach children to cope effectively with anxiety-inducing situations. In our project, we rigorously tested whether an intervention in the form of a video game (MindLight) is effective in significantly reducing anxiety symptoms in children 8-12 years old. We did this by comparing MindLight to 1) a commercial game and 2) the gold-standard, cognitive-behavioural therapy for anxiety (Coping Cat). Furthermore, we aim to evaluate the reasons for why MindLight is effective (e.g., what kinds of mechanics work) and for whom (e.g., age and gender differences).

    view this project



Do you want to play a virtual reality game that you can control with your own breath?

Then click below to learn more about "Take a DEEP Breath"!




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.