In my research, I am exploring the gamification of therapies used in mental healthcare. Our project aims to generate a set of generic game design principles which when adopted, would hopefully result in gamified therapies that are not only enjoyable but also effective for patients. The principles would be generated based on both theoretical and practical insights, from experimental research together with hands-on-experience obtained from the process of gamifying six interventions. These interventions would target a variety of disorders (externalizing and internalizing disorders) using techniques from Cognitive Training and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy. A research-and-design paradigm would be adopted in the creation of the gamified therapies.
The work would be done in collaboration with RANJ, a serious games agency and with researchers from the University of Amsterdam who would carry out Randomized control Trials to determine the effectiveness of the gamified therapies. Overall, we hope our results would increase the value of serious game design for mental healthcare, first by providing a validation of the effects of gamification and secondly by providing a set of game design principles which could be used to implement effective mental healthcare therapies.