Game Design in Mental Health Care: Case Study–Based Framework for Integrating Game Design into Therapeutic Content

Panote Siriaraya*, Valentijn Visch, Marilisa Boffo, Renske Spijkerman, Reinout Wiers, Vincent Hendriks, Marierose van Dooren, Michael Bas, Richard Goossens, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

While there has been increasing interest in the use of gamification in mental health care, there is a lack of design knowledge on how elements from games could be integrated into existing therapeutic treatment activities in a manner that is balanced and effective. To help address this issue, we propose a design process framework to support the development of mental health gamification. Based on the concept of experienced game versus therapy worlds, we highlight 4 different therapeutic components that could be gamified to increase user engagement. By means of a Dual-Loop model, designers can balance the therapeutic and game design components and design the core elements of a mental health care gamification. To support the proposed framework, 4 cases of game design in mental health care (eg, therapeutic protocols for addiction, anxiety, and low self-esteem) are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere27953
Number of pages25
JournalJMIR Serious Games
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Case studies
  • Design models
  • EHealth
  • Gamification
  • Mental health

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