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.
Marieke van Rooij
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 evaluated the motivational characteristics of MindLight and for whom (e.g., age and gender differences) it is effective.
Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychopathologies in children. This project investigates the effects of a biofeedback virtual reality game (DEEP) on breathing and anxiety-related symptoms in anxious children and develops new algorithms to detect changes in the player’s behavior during the game. The aim is to enable game interventions that are personalized to each individual child.
Marieke van Rooij
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.
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.