Minigames for Mental Health

Katelyn Procci, News No Comments

Katelyn Procci | August 2, 2013

I’m pleased to announce that we recently published a new article in the Games for Health Journal. Titled “Minigames for Mental Health: Improving Warfighters’ Coping Skills and Awareness of Mental Health Resources”, this article reports on a validation study we conducted as a part of the Resilience Minigames research effort.

Walk in my Shoes is a serious games that blends instructional content delivered via machinima and interactive ebooks with skill-and-drill minigames. This serious game addresses a pressing need to both inform the soon-to-be-deployed warfighter of critical resources as well as provide the player with a set of basic coping skills. The purpose of this study was two-fold: We were interested in whether the game Walk in my Shoes actually improved players’ knowledge of coping skills and of mental health resources available to warfighters, and whether the inclusion content-relevant of minigames as a form of practice facilitated learning. We hypothesized that practice in the form of minigames would be beneficial to the overall serious game as evidenced by improved instructional outcomes. We found that those participants who played Walk in my Shoes with the content-relevant minigames improved their from scores on a knowledge assessment, while those that played the same minigames, except with content edited so that it was wholly unrelated to the topic of instruction, did not change from baseline.

You can read the article for yourself on the Games for Health Journal website: Procci, K., Bowers, C., Wong, C., & Andrews, A. (2013). Minigames for mental health: Improving warfighters’ coping skills and awareness of mental health resources. Games for Health Journal, 2(4), 240-246. doi:10.1089/g4h.2013.0014

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