Can I Play Some More? Promoting Adolescent Wellbeing Through Engaging Video Games

Project Lead Category Project status
Marlou Poppelaars Resilience Data Collection

Commercial video games may offer a cheap and readily available way to help us understand in what way video games can be used to promote adolescent wellbeing. Excellent targets for this are games that involve social interaction, encourage both positive and negative emotions and are identified by youth themselves as potentially beneficial. By letting youth play several commercial video games in different settings, we can learn how games interact with wellbeing in both short and long-term.

Project team

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01-02-2017

During adolescence there is a sharp increase in mental health issues (e.g. depression). Video games may be used to train skills and knowledge to improve adolescent wellbeing, as video games engage adolescents and have been shown to train a range of skills. The project aims to examine mechanisms in potentially beneficial commercial video games that are effective in promoting mental health. These mechanisms may then inform the development of video games that specifically aim to promote wellbeing or target specific mental health issues. Moreover, in this project we look at non-specific factors (e.g. contextualization) that may promote or hinder the effectiveness and/or appeal of mental health games. Finally, with the use of facial emotion detection during video game play and in-game behavior we aim to understand social interaction within cooperative video games and the motivational and emotional consequences of this interactivity.

10.3%

Of 15-20 year olds had elevated scores on two depression scales

95.9%

Played more than 1 hour of the intervention game at home

75%

Of suitcases did not survive transporting project game materials

Results

Our current study is in the final stages of data collection. In this study 246 youth between the ages of 15 and 20 years participated. Of these participants 93% completed a follow-up questionnaire after 6 months and 54% have already completed the follow-up questionnaire after 12 months. Data collection will be completed in September 2017.

Publications

Project team

Marlou Poppelaars title=
Marlou Poppelaars

PhD Candidate passionate about psychopathology prevention, intrinsic motivation and the use of video games for this purpose. Loves to read, cook and making sure that bomb does not explode.

Function

PhD-Candidate

Contact

E-mail Marlou

Isabela Granic title=
Isabela Granic

Professor and Chair of the Developmental Psychopathology department in the Behavioural Science Institute; writer; voracious podcast consumer; mother of two upstanding little gamers

Function

Director of GEMH Lab

Contact

E-mail Isabela

Anna Lichtwarck-Aschoff title=
Anna Lichtwarck-Aschoff

Assistant Professor at the Developmental Psychopathology Department, mainly interested in general processes and principles of clinical change; mother of two wild boys.

Function

Assistant Professor

Contact

E-mail Anna

Adam Lobel title=
Adam Lobel

User Research Analyst at Ubisoft Montréal. My favorite games tell emotionally rich stories and challenge me to think differently

Function

User Research Analyst

Contact

E-mail Adam

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