Useful Apps and Games


Video games are an accessible media with high prevalence of use. Moderate amounts of play are linked to positive mood, relaxation, reduced stress, emotional regulation, reduced depression, higher self esteem, self acceptance, increased vitality and self confidence, as well as creative and social benefits. These components are all part of positive mental health.

Using games as a therapeutic intervention or adjunct is an appealing concept. Video games are relatively cheap, they are easily accessible, and they are familiar to a high proportion of people. There are already validated and reliable game-based treatments in development for a variety of medical and psychological conditions which aim to exploit the benefits discussed above. Randomised control trials have also shown video games to be an effective treatment for anxiety and depression.

In addition to the benefits, games are also being used as a valuable tool to represent mental health issues for those who have suffered them, or wish to discuss them openly and sympathetically. In turn this provides education to the player and reduces the stigma around these important matters.

Whatever the reason, it is pretty clear that people love games and they may get a psychological benefit from playing them. But is there any specific game, mechanic, or genre which seems to add benefit? Over 1000 people let us know how they felt in an informal survey, and the same games kept coming up again and again. Our current research project looks into why these specific franchises seem to be so much more useful to people than others. Is it the sense of achievement? The in depth narrative? The social aspects? Or something else?

In this section, you can learn about how and why games might be of use, which games are available, and where to access more information.

Game Library

These articles discuss games and apps which have therapeutic implications or mental health content.
/
The Interactive Meditation App That Makes You Sway

The Interactive Meditation App That Makes You Sway

Meditation practice isn't about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better, it's about befriending who we are. - Ani Pema Chodron Mindfulness and meditation are gaining traction in the mental health & tech sphere rapidly, and with a ...
Read More
/
SANE's Ground-Breaking App Which Detects Early Onset Of Mania

SANE’s Ground-Breaking App Which Detects Early Onset Of Mania

SANE Australia has developed a ground-breaking app which aims to detect the early onset of Manic episodes, making it much easier to identify and manage, and prevent often damaging consequences for people living with Bipolar Disorder. What is Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar ...
Read More
/
5 Times Breath Of The Wild Did Great Things For Mental Health

5 Times Breath Of The Wild Did Great Things For Mental Health

The Legend of Zelda has always been an innovative, forward thinking series. Each game for me inspired a new sense of wonder, and productively built on its predecessor to create something unique. Older than I am, and yet seemingly fresh ...
Read More
/
PRY Is A Game About PTSD That Gets It Spot On

PRY Is A Game About PTSD That Gets It Spot On

I’ve been meaning to talk about Pry for a while, because I was absolutely blown away by it. Thematically and mechanically I see this as the gold standard for representing a mental health condition. It’s sympathetic, immersive and at times ...
Read More
/
"The CheckPoint": Our Games for Wellbeing

“The CheckPoint”: Our Games for Wellbeing

At PAX Australia 2016, CheckPoint had the absolute privilege of showing the attendees of the Diversity Lounge what we do, and start them up with ideas on how to engage with tech in a way that fosters their wellbeing. We ...
Read More
/
Asylum Jam: Escaping the stigma

Asylum Jam: Escaping the stigma

When was the last time you played a horror game that didn’t utilise negative stereotypes of mental illness, or the institutions that care for those with mental illness? If you are a fan of games in the horror genre, it ...
Read More