Gaming to treat anxiety co-creation workshop: A debrief

On Tuesday 8th May, we hosted the second co-creation session of this Innovate UK funded project.

The challenge was to: ‘create game concepts that use exposure therapy to help young people (8-12 years old) at low-medium risk of anxiety with early intervention’.

Games designers, CBT Practitioners, parents and teachers contributed ideas and experiences; and the workshop burst at the seams with creativity, empathy, and a very special birthday cake for BfB Labs’ co-founder, Simon.

As this project is working with complex therapeutic protocols, our co-creation model is different from your average. Rather than taking a challenge or problem to the room and asking them to solve it in one session, we’re building and shaping on previous workshops – with a lot of back room research and distillation with the experts supporting the project.

This workshop started with a simplified therapeutic framework that had emerged during the previous co-creation workshop. Participants were briefed to work on one of three stages of exposure therapy and think creatively about game concepts which could answer the key challenges. They were challenged to come up with a bunch of ideas, and then narrow down to one concept per team. At the end of the session, some seriously entertaining 5 minute pitch videos were used to feedback to the room!

The next co-creation workshop will be even more game design specific, building on one specific concept for all three stages to create the skeleton of our game. Keep an eye out for that soon and contact for more information.

Our co-creation journey builds from therapeutic framework > creative concepts > game design. Doing it this way has meant we can channel expertise to solve complex problems and get the most out of our co-creation sessions.

Here’s some highlights from the 8th:


5 Minute pitch