Champions of the Shengha

  • Nick Stanhope
  • Nick Shand
Improving mental health
Developing a video game to help young people better manage their emotions
The Problem
By developing emotional management skills, young people can learn to focus and perform better and protect themselves against more serious mental health problems. However traditional training activities, like meditation and yoga, are seen as boring or irrelevant by this audience.
The Solution
A video game that respond to players’ emotions and reward those who can master them, created by BfB Labs, a mental-health tech venture set up by Shift.
So Far…
  • 5 trials in schools including an RCT
  • A successful crowdfunding campaign
  • 1200+ early users
  • 4 in 5 trial participants were able to use techniques taught by the game to reduce physiological signs of stress
  • 3 in 4 reported getting better at staying calm and focused within the game.
“We need healthy, creative and resilient children who know how to maintain wellbeing and can manage stress, judge risks and embrace failure as part of the learning process. It’s essential that we find ways of engaging young people with their technologies in order to do this.”
Charlotte Berry, Assistant Head Teacher, The Billericay School
“When I’m in an argument I don’t feel right, I sometimes feel like I’m in a different planet, on a different world. When I did breathing I’d learnt in the game, I calmed down, came back to earth"
Student, 15
“Games tap into the most fundamental ways we learn and feel. They are an incredible way of reaching out to young people regardless of nationality and background – and, in as urgent and universal a field as mental health, this promises to equip countless players with a proven tool for transforming their own health and resilience.”
Tom Chatfield, author and technology theorist