I’ve recently become very interested in the potential of using games to change attitudes and behaviours, so was quite excited when I came across MindHabits trainer, a game that claims to “help players reduce stress and boost self confidence and esteem using principles from social intelligence research”.
The principle of this game is that it can be used to re-train mental habits through a series of mini-games to produce a more positive outlook, and let go of negative habits and emotions. I particularly like that this is backed up by a ‘science lab’ section that explains the theory behind how the games are designed.
In principle, this looks like an excellent application of games for learning, but unfortunately someone forgot to mention to the game designers that games are meant to be fun. For me, clicking smiling faces in clouds, being able to recognise my own name when I see it, and finding words such as ‘loved’ and ‘valued’ in word searches just doesn’t make for lasting engagement.
What I do like about this application though is that it comes from the right starting point – it is designed around explicit educational principles, even though I don’t think they’ve quite got the ‘game’ part right. Nobody said it was easy.