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.
People with large social networks on average live longer, happier, less stressed lives. We can potentially leverage video games and virtual spaces to increase the experience of social support and impact daily stress and anxiety. Therefore, this project aims to show that virtual social support can lower stress, and potentially impact stress coping behaviours.
Marieke van Rooij
Erik van den Berge
Our research aims to transform young people’s mental health by developing and testing a social game for resiliency when facing stress events. Working in collaboration with the Award winning studio Aardman Animations, we want to harness the important mental health implications of both social support and mindsets, to develop a fun and engaging intervention.
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.