The benefits of gamification for mental health

Over the last several years, gamification has been widely utilised to incorporate use cases such as loyalty management, which has gained traction in the healthcare industry. Gamification is the technique of adding gaming elements into solutions, such as activity design and providing incentives inside existing processes, to create engaging experiences and improve process adoption.

Gamification’s goal in healthcare is to develop better patient-centred care and make each treatment and participation more individualised. Gamification motivates the patient and interest by including elements like intervention challenges, rewards and making it easier for patients to achieve their goals.

Gamification for mental health

Gamified point of view

Gamification Role in Counselling

It is not a new concept to use gaming as a tool in counselling. The concept of utilising games to aid with emotional and mental well-being has been around for a long time. Play therapy in child counselling is one area where gaming has been used as a therapeutic technique. Playing helps youngsters to express themselves more freely and removes any boundaries that may have arisen because of external influences.

In these situations, gaming, and by extension gamification, are extremely effective because they can engage and immerse players. Players reach a state of Flow when they immerse themselves in the game and no longer ‘consciously’ concentrate on what they are doing. Therapists can study their behaviour in different contexts and how they react to them when they are in this condition.

Gamification in Counselling

Because games and gamification contain frameworks, rules, objectives, win and fail states, they may watch and analyze a person’s activities and emotions in order to build a more successful therapy.

It might include situations when people are given a task and are observed how they do it. This may be shown by using LEGO or something similar and having the individual construct something and then describe what it is and why they built it. This procedure can provide therapists with useful information.

Gaming And Its Significance for Mental Health​

In gamification and mental health, the two have always had a difficult relationship. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified gaming and gaming addiction as a mental health condition in 2018.

However, considering the crisis and the necessity for everyone to be secure and at home, the WHO has concluded that gaming can be beneficial. They linked up with several firms in the video gaming industry to aid individuals who felt lonely at home during the lockdown with a project called #PlayApartTogether.

Some of the more recent research on video games and mental health have begun to look at their usefulness as counselling aids for coping with depression, which is a probable result of being alone for too long.

The paper “Serious Games and Gamification for Mental Health: Status and Promising Directions” is a research study. The article analyses and examines how immersive activities that players engage in within games, with focus on VR and AR games, might improve overall patient engagement and therapeutic benefits.

Gamification in Mental Health

All of this research has proven that gaming has a wide range of applications in mental health. They observed that when it comes to improving mood and acting as a stress/emotional release valve, entertainment games have shown to be the most beneficial. It is seen, for example, in the WHO effort #PlayApartTogether.

The central message of all of this research is that they demonstrate that the components inside games that make them entertaining may be quite beneficial in treating mental health disorders and providing techniques to better watch and analyze persons in need of assistance.

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