In MindLight you explore a dark and old mansion. Adventuring and puzzling your way to turn the lights back on with Teru, a magical hat that shines whenever you feel relaxed. The game is played using the MindWave, a headset that reads your brainwaves while playing.
Together, Arty and Teru go on a quest to defeat their fears. They blow away the darkness with their light and set out to save Granny before she is completely taken over by shadows.
As their adventure takes them through the mansion they come accross many obstacles and difficulties to overcome. Together they explore eerie rooms where they find coins that unlock magical puzzles. They discover lamps that create safe zones and help them to defeat the darkness. Monsters sometimes halt their progress, though, and chase them around unless Arty and Teru find a good hiding place. But sometimes they’re able to make a friend out of a monster! And so their party grows ever larger while they explore and adventure their way to find the source of the darkness.
MindLight is a serious game with a horror survival theme, made especially for children that suffer from anxiety disorders. Made in close collaboration with the PlayNice Institute and Radboud University professors Isabela Granic and Rutger Engels.
MindLight uses several evidence-based strategies through which children learn to manage and overcome anxiety symptoms. Such as: Relaxation and mindfulness techniques; Exposure therapy; Attention bias modification methods; And neurofeedback mechanics using the MindWave headset.
MindLight is an immersive training ground that uses evidence-based therapeutic practices to teach children to overcome their fears. Players learn to manage their distressing emotions through immersive, engaging gameplay. Children are stimulated to disattend from threatening cues and shift attention away from those cues. This is made easier by focusing on positive aspects of the environment in the service of relevant goals, and by regulating (dampening) arousal levels associated with anxiety through relaxation and mindfulness.
The player’s intrinsic motivation to adventure, explore and accomplish drives them to change their behaviour and overcome their fears. This behaviour canalizes new neural pathways and these new pathways may be the means by which playing MindLight forms resilient habits of mind that transfer to children’s everyday lives.
Education innnovators are currently re-designing classroom experiences across the Western world, integrating digital games and media technologies that can radically shift the way the next generation of teachers and students approach learning. This new model invites students to learn through play, discovering and innovating with knowledge they acquire through hands-on engagement and collaboration. It is this same kind of transformation, based on the same foundational principle of play, that we spearhead in the field of mental health. By harnessing the intrinsically motivating properties of video games and their immense potential to teach new forms of thought and behavior, we can engage youth in building their emotional resilience through play. Children who become emotionally resilient are not only buffered from adversity; they also become empowered, optimistic and academically successful young people. Crucially, we are committed to developing commercial-grade, universally accessible games rather than smaller scale “serious games” which often hold little appeal to the current generation of children. We want kids to pick up games like MindLight because they are intensely fun, not because they are “good for them.” And we want them to share the games with their friends and family, so their impact will grow exponentially. MindLight was born from this vision with the explicit goal to incorporate evidence-based therapeutic practices into an engaging game experience. As such MindLight is a textbook example of a highly succesful collaboration between academics, clinical therapists, commercial game and interaction designers, and content creators. MindLight is hailed by researchers and therapists alike as an exceptional translation of evidence-based therapeutic practices into an intrinsically fun game. Alongside specific evidence-based methods, the game has many supporting mechanics that drive the player towards empowerment and beneficial change. More than just a serious game, MindLight is designed to be intensely fun, to harness children’s intrinsic curiosity and wonder and so bridge fantasy and reality such that children become empowered across all contexts in their lives.