Could a videogame help promote mental wellbeing and reduce mental suffering?

Paul Fletcher (Consultant Psychiatrist and Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge) and Tameem Antoniades (Co-founder and Chief Creative Ninja, Ninja Theory) discuss the development of multi-BAFTA Award-winning videogame Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. This hugely popular videogame resulted from a multidisciplinary collaboration, involving psychiatry research and patients’ lived experiences, to create a thoroughly engaging representation of what psychosis is really like.

Paul and Tameem will also share how they are building on this successful collaboration, working together to investigate how videogames might be used to treat mental ill-health. They are pairing technology such as biofeedback systems and virtual reality with clinical neuroscience and cutting-edge game design to make previously invisible symptoms like anxiety and fear become visible. Eventually, they hope this engaging videogame experience will enable people to gain more control over symptoms of mental illness and reduce suffering.

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