I wanted to familiarize myself with the current state of the field of games that have a self-help objective - particularly self-help for psychological issues. I know several are in the works to treat PTSD. And of course there is Superbetter. And there is a cognitive behavioral therapy game for use within a session with a mental health professional (on the Pesky Gnats web site) - so not really self-help. There's a mom in my neighborhood who is doing clinical testing for an app that motivates weight loss.

Does anyone know of any others that are already available or in the works?

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I am BETA testing an app call Lift : https://liftdo.wufoo.com/forms/friends-family-lift-beta/ - I understand it is funded by one of the founders of Twitter. http://blog.lift.do/ has some good info. In its current iteration however it is little more than a "to do" app with some tracking and social added. It does help with accountability of creating habits (creating good ones, and eliminating bad ones if you choose) I found in practical use, but doesn't have enough engagement for me to use it on an ongoing basis yet. I stumbled upon Superbetter with the same intentions as I had with Lift. I've been thinking of doing a more social game to run on Facebook to attempt to create a more positive behavioral influence on the players to create Heroes in game while doing "real" positive behaviors in their daily lives. I hope this area expands quickly as I believe it can be an amazing force in all societies.


i'm not sure if this is what your looking for but there's a couple flash games on the link that are tagged as philosophical.

One possible avenue is the 'Heartmath' Software.  The core software itself is a kind of biofeedback rig intended to be used to enable you to track and measure your state (heart/brain coherence) so that you can practice and improve your coherence which is corellated with a lot of health benefits in the research including psychological ones.  However, within the software there are some simple games where you achieve goals by maintaining your coherent state.  It's interesting to see if you can remain relaxed, centred and open hearted when you're also doing something competitive!  If you google heartmath institute wou'll find their website easily.  Some very interesting reading and research there and they have applied it to lots of areas from the original stuff around stress to over-eating and all kinds of things.  Hope that helps.  I'm designing some games but they are 'real life' games rather than computer games and this sounds like you are looking more for computer games... you can have a look here at one of the simple games I've put together for doing in your body rather than online:  http://www.fudoshin.org.uk/blog/2012/8/8/the-7-days-to-spiritual-en...

I wonder if Stickk.com would be helpful to you.  As I recall, a founder of this website is Ian Ayres, an economist who has done some interesting work on motivation.  I used to have a pretty jaundiced opinion of economics (though I once worked with some delightful economists), but this work is impressive.  

Hi Karen,

We are developing games to help with anxiety disorders. One is aimed at reducing stress by training people in relaxation techniques, getting them to monitor and learn about their anxiety patterns and motivating them to regulary practice relaxation. We call that one Stress Free.

Our second one, which we may or may not get finished depending on how our kicktarter campaign goes, is a game using systematic desensitisation to help reduce fear of spiders in people with arachnophobia. We use interactive games gradually dosing exposure. The last session uses augmented reality using a realistic spider model. We call it Phobia Free (spider edition).

If you are interested in the project you can check our the website at www.virtually-free.com

Look up Jane McGonigal.

Happify, Personal Zen, SuperBetter, and MindBloom are all cool options.

Last time I went on SuperBetter it looked like Jane had abandoned it. That is what she seems to do. Start something good and then move onto the next project before making sure that it is successful long term.

I am just trying MindBloom.

I went through sign up process and the couldn't get past 95% "Saving Your Tree" / 90% Sun.

I managed to get it working by using Firefox instead of Chrome.

I too wish Jane would drop in and light a fire every now and then.  Been trying to do that a few years now by offering free prototyping services. Even managed to help a few, but for the most part it's gone to seed. But I still have hope :)

Seems like the Game For Change Google Group has a bit more activity...



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