About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1437-1444
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain


M. Plechawska-Wojcik1, J. Rybka2

1Lublin University of Technology (POLAND)
2Collegium Medicum UMK (POLAND)
The paper presents the idea and gameplay of the serious game dedicated for both, patients suffering from depression to help them in the fight against disease and healthy individuals to raise their awareness about depression disease and increase their level of knowledge about it.

Serious games are gaining more and more popularity nowadays. Using games for purpose different than only pure entertainment is the idea of serious game. On the market there are available several computer game solutions dedicated to patients suffering from depression. Many of them make the impression of typical game played just for fun. However, the embedded missions accounts for therapeutic effects of the game. As a result patients might be treated while at the same time they have playful time enjoying the game. Such games, if well tailored, might be a great complement to patients’ regular therapy.

The idea of presented game is to navigate through the world of a person suffering from depression and to present threats and opportunities for the treatment and diagnosis. The game will also give the possibility of self-diagnosis through solving several dedicated quests.

The game has an educational, therapeutic and pro-social character. Its role is to illustrate problems and the situation of depressive patients. While playing users, gain the opportunity to compete with the disease in the virtual world in order to gain competence to actively fight against the depression disease in a real world. Users will be able to test and learn new solutions available for counteracting symptoms of depression.
The gameplay is constructed as to present the symptoms of patients suffering from depression and to identify opportunities to combat them. Symptoms appearing in the game are typical symptoms of depression: decreased activity, lethargy, difficulties in concentrating, sleep problems, anxiety, sadness, lack of self-confidence.

In order to experience this symptoms in game user find himself in the dark, sad world with limited field of view. At the beginning users needs to navigate alone in the dark. While playing and realizing activities, the world is changing – it is getting more and more bright and cheerful. In the game colours plays important role - they illustrate the perception of the world by a sick person: gray, faded colours represent problems whereas bright, cheerful colours represents improvement and better health state.

In a real world a variety of remedies and tools is available to combat the disease including medical consultations and visits to specialists, pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, meditation, dietary changes, undertaking physical, social or professional activities. Also in our game the user is able to select individual remedies and strategies to combat the disease, in order to experience the variety of choices and safely determine gained benefits from different selection strategies.

The user is rewarded for taking activity. The game is designed to show the patient that despite the difficulties in overcoming the disease, there are always ways out of the problem. The game is designed to encourage user to take advantage of available remedies and tools. Its role is also to inform and educate users about the ways of self-assessing their health status, to encourage them to self-control, and to use additional tools to help fighting with the disease.

Our future plans are to evaluate the engage with the users to evaluate the behavioural effects of the game.
author = {Plechawska-Wojcik, M. and Rybka, J.},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {1437-1444}}
AU - M. Plechawska-Wojcik AU - J. Rybka
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 1437
EP - 1444
ER -
M. Plechawska-Wojcik, J. Rybka (2015) A SERIOUS GAME RAISING AWARENESS AND EXPERIENCE OF DEPRESSION, INTED2015 Proceedings, pp. 1437-1444.