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.
Recently, prominent social psychologist Jonathan Haidt posted a piece about social media and teen girls’ mental health. Nastasia has her own thoughts on this, read them here!
We are launching a new video series: Ask GEMH Anything! Send us your burning question about digital tech and wellbeing, and we'll dive into it!
An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Twente (including our GEMH Lab co-director Hanneke Scholten) and the municipality of Amsterdam, have received €3.7 million from the National Growth Fund to explore hope as a social response to climate change.
Hanneke and Nastasia traveled to Ghent in Belgium for a day to collect data from kids visiting the PRESS Play theatre show—a fantastical interactive experience for kids set up by our partners at Kopergietery exploring agency in the virtual world.
On Jan 27th we hosted a new GEMH Session with special guest Matthew Kreutter. Together we discussed the potential of using digital play-based spaces (like Minecraft) to support grieving youth.
On Nov 23rd 2022, Dr. Joanneke Weerdmeester participated in a Radboud Reflects session together with Dr. Eelke Spaak focused on the effects of gaming. Dr. Spaak's talk focused on cognition and perception, whereas Joanneke focused on mental and emotional health. The talks were followed by an in-depth discussion. Talks and discussion are in Dutch.
Treating Youth Anxiety Through Gaming with Dr. Isabela Granic, Dr. Hanneke Scholten, and Ken Koontz
Last Monday, September 12th 2022, I had the massive privilege of defending my PhD dissertation at the Radboud University, featuring 4 years worth of work on young people's wellbeing and their relationship with social media.
As the Games for Emotional and Mental Health Lab enters a new era of transitions and changes, we are extremely excited to announce that the Templeton World Charity Foundation has awarded us with over $1.6 million to share our knowledge with like-minded individuals!
This summer the GEMH lab is organizing a games festival! With this event we want to enable anyone and everyone to experience some highlights of the current games-for-wellbeing landscape. In the run-up to the event we will provide updates about the specific date, location, and program.
Creating digital tech—whether it be videogames or apps—that makes a real impact on human flourishing is hard! Luckily, at the GEMH Lab we have amassed many lessons learned, tips, tricks and caveats over the years of our existence. All of which we aim to bring together in the Bloombox: a toolkit for creating transformative tech.
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.
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.