MENTAL Jam

Knowledge Translation of Lived Experiences of Depression and Anxiety through Video Games Co-creation

The research will work closely with young people with lived experience of depression and anxiety, and video game developers, to develop video games as a form of self-expression to build empathy and promote mental health awareness.

Knowledge translation is a term used to describe how knowledge is disseminated, exchanged, and applied from a range of participants and perspectives. Prior research in this area has shown different artistic mediums can be used to portray stories as a form of self-expression and to raise community awareness. Video games offer interactive and immersive experiences that can inspire players to gain knowledge of the lived perspectives of others. 

However, facilitating participation of individuals with lived experience in the creation of video games is not well understood. Through a participatory action research methodology, this research will develop game jam workshops that will facilitate co-creation for participants with lived experience of depression and anxiety using different video game design approaches, such as narrative-driven, metaphorical and experiential game design.

This research will design a strategy for developing video games that contributes to the field of arts-based knowledge translation, as well as expand game design perspectives for empathy games.