Several causal factors serve as potential key targets for an intervention amongst addiction in adolescents. The Smoking Cessation project wanted to focus on impulsivity through inhibitory control, the valuation of stimuli, and the influence of social networks.
A Go/NoGo task is commonly used to measure the degree of inhibitory control - press a button when a Go stimuli is shown and withhold that response when a NoGo stimulus is presented...
Hit-n-Run aimed to test and encourage alternative behavior practices among adolescents before they developed habitual smoking habits. The design specification required the game to be used in a one month intervention study, with a three month follow up evaluation.
I was recently invited to contribute to an article about “10 groundbreaking findings in Psychology and their applicability to (serious) game design”. This is what I had to contribute. 9 others will contribute a discussion of similar length, and we hope to be submitting our work shortly. I’ll keep this blog updated on the paper’s status.
Games provide a very interesting avenue to explore morality. After all, you are not hurting any real people when you allow yourself to misbehave within games. I’m sure we’ve all done things in game worlds that we are not proud of, just to see what happens. In this way, games can provide us with an idea of the consequences of certain actions, and provide an opportunity to test how those actions affect us emotionally.
We have witnessed nothing less than a cultural genesis in the rise of video games. Over the last twenty to thirty years, gaming has gone from fringe to mainstream entertainment. As an industry, it now rivals Hollywood in budgets and revenue, and like Hollywood, it commands a large, diverse audience. In its evolution, gaming has created cultural icons, spawned social controversies, become heralded as an art form, and created diverse cultures of gamers. This post is my attempt to concisely and objectively get people up to speed on what the wide world of video gaming looks like.
Web article about new game to increase mental health literacy and decrease stigma for depression in youth.
September 18-22 is the Dutch national week against bullying, so for our second Let's Play we're playing an oldie but a goodie: 'Bully: Scholarship Edition'.
Joanneke Weerdmeester's PhD research on DEEP was featured in a short item on regional TV (with subtitles)
A summary of the research-backed rationale for using games for the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression in youth.
We compiled a huge list of online games you can play together; classic video games as well as online board games. Updated list: 2-11-2020
In this series we want to highlight some of the games that we are playing within the GEMH Lab or that we find interesting from a mental health perspective. These games will be compiled in a masterlist that will be linked back to in each upcoming blog.
What are the top 3 most popular video games of children (8 to 12-year-olds)?
As the end of this month approaches and a new theme finds its way to our lab, we have decided to celebrate this month's theme - prosociality and kindness - with a Let's Play! In this edition, Anouk, Babet and myself have played a fun yet chaotic cooking game called Overcooked!, in which we venture to conquer the kitchen in our quest to beat the giant meat ball boss.
The GEMH Game Lounge is open for students at Radboud University, every day between 12.30-13.30h. Students can relax by playing from a variety of video games including but not limited to VR, Playstation and mobile app games that relieve stress and anxiety. Click here to see what games are available this month!
Every March, to coincide with the Game Developers conference and many other major gaming news & updates, we felt now would be a great opportunity to take a look at some of the games available that can have a positive impact on mental and emotional well-being. Games that you can relax to but still be immersed in a non casual way.
In the first installment of our bi-monthly Game Day we explore if we can make a player engage challenging situations confident that other players would help them personally. We chose the MMORPG Guild Wars 2 to examine how its unique combat system, map exploration and character progression could create a context for the player to experience personalized social support.
The majority of popular video games nowadays allow (or even require) multiple players to join in at the same time. More than ever before, gamers are being dropped in virtual worlds together with their friends, family, but also total strangers. What kind of effect does this have on our social behavior?
GEMH Lab recommends games available that can have a positive impact on mental and emotional well-being.
The condition "Gaming Disorder" describes a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior so severe that it takes "precedence over other life interests". But is it the game design that is addicting or the emotional connections to an online social network made while playing the game?
This month we focus on the connection between mind and body and we will discuss whether video games can help us listen to our body and practice techniques that change our body activity in a way that makes us feel better.
Dark Souls is a video game series often described as dark and incredibly difficult. Honestly, one of the last games I would have considered as beneficial for those dealing with depression. My first impression may very well be wrong though...
Last Friday GEMH Lab was featured in Het Jeugdjournaal to explain why games can help children to overcome their problems, such as anxiety. Het Jeugdjournaal is a Dutch news show that aims to educate children about worldwide and national news.
A new Stanford study has uncovered the next puzzle piece about how our brains process what we see around us... using Pokémon! I think, however, that there is an additional, valuable thing to be learned from this study, which has also to do with how we view things, but in a way you might not expect.
We have written blogs about games to play online with family and friends or games that can help you relax. Both of which seem very needed in the uncertain times we live in now, most of us quarantined. However, we realized that not all families have access to these games. We wanted to do something for them. We have donated our Playstations that we have used for studies in the past to families who live in poverty. You can read more about that and the organisations that we donated them to in this blogpost.
The placebo effect is more than just a sugar pill. The social context plays an important role in reinforcing beliefs about the treatment.
In September, Mariska Kool and Erna Terpstra visited the GEMH Lab. Mariska and Erna are involved in a very special project; they teach children by using Live Action Role-Playing (LARP) games.
Why are mindsets important, how do they relate to (mental) health and can mindsets be changed?
Expectations and beliefs not only have an influence on self-reported improvements, but they also influence our physiology.
This month’s theme is about help-seeking for anxiety and depression. There are quite some people that play video games to feel better and to lower their anxiety and depressive feelings. In this blog, I would like to tell you more about Monument Valley. This game is not only one of GEMH’s favourite games, but also a game that a lot of participants in one of our studies enjoyed very much because it is so relaxing and calming.
This month’s theme is about placebo effects. Because the month is almost over, I would like to end the theme month with a discussion. Before I do so, I will briefly recap our previous blog posts.
GEMH-lab's Dr. Hanneke Scholten was a main guest on the BNR 'All in the Game' podcast to talk about how games can positively influence our daily lives.
Akili Interactive’s game EndeavorRx is the first game approved by the FDA to be prescribed as treatment for children with ADHD in the US. What does this mean for other games developed to improve emotional and mental health and change behavior?
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.
During the online edition of the Waterkant Festival, Joanneke Weerdmeester (GEMH Lab) & Owen Harris (Explore DEEP) gave a joint talk on using interactive technology such as games and VR to improve our well-being. Check it out!
Video games offer us so much more than just entertainment. For our latest GEMH session, we invited Dr. Nick Bowman to tell us all about the evolution of video games and how much they can mean to us. Check out Dr Bowman's presentation here!
Recently I gave an interview with VICE Benelux about some of the psychological mechanisms that underlie completionism in gaming.
GEMH-lab's Joanneke Weerdmeester was interviewed by the local radio RN7 to talk about her research with DEEP
Recently, a number of YouTubers and Twitch streamers have started talking about their own mental health struggles, trying to start a conversation with their viewers about this topic. In this blog I showcase a couple of these videos in the hopes that it might encourage you to speak up as well.
One of the coolest things about observing people when they play a game, especially when you get to observe them for an extended period of time, is witnessing the moment when someone becomes truly immersed in the game environment, when they truly connect with it, when something just 'clicks'...
Prof dr. Isabela Granic and Owen Harris (DEEP director) spoke at the Unity for Humanity summit about how the VR biofeedback game DEEP merges art and science to soothe players’ anxiety. Watch the 10-min video where Isabel and Owen outline the design and research of DEEP.
Imagine you could snap your fingers and immediately be transported to a beautiful, serene world that responds to your stress with soothing resonance.
Interview with GEMH-lab researcher Elke Schoneveld about applied game MindLight
The work of our lab was recently featured in a great video by the popular Youtube channel DidYouKnowGaming? The video addresses how games can have a positive effect on players, for instance by helping them cope with anxiety, depression, pain and attention deficits.
Just a collection of shots I took of people playing DEEP.
A storytelling podcast celebrating indigenous history, culture, perspectives, and creatives. Join us to learn about Ken Koontz the Creative Director at GEMH Lab
Open University starts two research projects about bullying and uses a games approach
Joanneke was invited as a guest on the Play Well for Life Podcast hosted by Dr. Sarah Campbell where they discussed using Virtual Reality to improve mental health, merging art and science, and the importance of play.
Thoughts on bullying and support in a digital world in light of next week's "Week against Bullying."
The Radboud University featured a short video where Dr. Joanneke Weerdmeester talks about her doctoral research around biofeedback games and anxiety regulation.
The second installment of our GEMH session series features Farshida Zafar, a Senior Fellow at the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence for Digital Governance and Director of ErasmusX,
In a small side street leading from the riverfront up to the city center a strange collection of people were gathered. Among them pre-teen children accompanied by a parent, a group of about a dozen teenage boys, several smaller groups of older teenagers and young adults, interspersed by older adults and senior citizens. All gathering to and playing together with the aim of battling and catching the legendary Pokémon Giratina. So why is it that Pokemon go still attracts so many players from all ages? And should your family join in?
A long-lasting debate around game difficulty flared up again recently. Should games be inherently challenging? What can-or should-developers do to make their games more accessible? Does taking away the challenge hamstring a game’s ability to build resilience? My playthrough of Sayonara Wild Hearts provided me with the answers.
A new paper by Hanneke Scholten and Isabela Granic is out, published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research! Find 'Use of the Principles of Design Thinking to Address Limitations of Digital Mental Health Interventions for Youth: Viewpoint' here or read about it here.
This month's theme is smoking cessation and behavior change. We are looking forward to share our activities and thoughts and to start a discussion with the community.