Mindfulness is all the rage right now, but some of us are looking for stress relief that is a little more fun than dot-to-dots and colouring-in books. Champions of the Shengha is a mobile game that senses your emotions, training players to stay calm and focused so they can wield virtual swords and spells against fantasy monsters.
The forthcoming game, which is currently on Indiegogo, has been developed by BfB Labs. This British startup has created the game to illustrate what its new Emotionally Responsive Gaming (ERG) platform can do. Intended to work with a regular smartphone, the Champions of the Shenga – and any future ERG game – tracks the player’s emotional state using an accessory called the BfB Sensor, which monitors changes in their heart rate.
The game teaches players breathing techniques to lower their heart rate. Their ability to control this determines how many spells, creatures, weapons and armour they have to defeat their opponent in Champions of the Shengha. These same exercises can be used in everyday life to reduce stress and anxiety.
To prove this, BfB Labs has conducted five trials with groups of between 10 and 90 young players aged 10-15 over the last year. Following the breathing exercises, 75% of players reported getting better at staying focused while playing the game. Charlotte Berry, Deputy Head at The Billericay School in Essex, where BfB Labs ran its largest trial, said the students found the skills the games taught them useful: “Many of them started to use what they’d learned straightaway – to prepare for tests or deal with issues with their family or friends. It’s certainly been a very interesting experience to be a part of.”
If you want to try it for yourself, donating $50 to Champions of the Shengha on Indiegogo will get you a launch-ready version of the game, a BfB Sensor and an artbook. The game is expected to launch in April 2017.
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