Improving mental health with games

Improving mental health with games

What if we could start treating mental health issues using games? The game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice sought to capture experiences of those with mental illness – especially schizophrenia.

The Insight Project is a partnership with the game studio Ninja Theory and clinical neuroscientists. The video is a little bit pretentious, but is a solid idea.

Does VR have the ability to help diagnose and treat people deal with various mental health problems? I believe so. The ability to simulate the experiences of schitzophrenia (a disease that often sets in later in life) could help people recognize the symptoms and get treatment before their condition deteriorates. Many conditions such as phobias and anxiety are often treated with exposure therapy. A virtual reality environment might be the perfect place to set up environments in which people can be safely be exposed to their fears – with all variables controlled. People that need help with social anxiety could be treated with simulated situations to help them learn good interaction skills. I think this has some great potential to really improve lives.

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