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‘Transformative games’ aim to positively impact mental and physical health

A selection of ‘transformative’ games will be on show at PAX West in Seattle, from Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment.

The titles to be shown off by the company involve elements like ‘dance, meditation, and artistic expression’, all intended to improve an individual’s physical and mental health, as well as general sense of wellbeing.

One title to be shown off, Rave Runner, is claimed to help burn up to 1,000 calories in a one-hour session of the dancing game. The effects of the title are currently under closer study at the VR Institute of Health and Exercise at San Francisco State University, as the original results were drawn from Fitbit data. Still, it’s an impressive – and tiring-sounding – figure.

“Our team believes in harnessing the transformative power of mindfulness and video games, and that practicing self-care can be truly ecstatic and habit-forming, never feeling like work,” said Job J. Stauffer, co-founder and chief creative officer at Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment, “The novelty of yesterday’s Wii Fit and Kinect is over, and the power of today’s immersive technology is already changing lives around the world as it has my own.

“Virtual reality has allowed us to ignite the flow state in a player by designing games for their sense of presence and focused attention, strengthening their motivation, creativity, and learning. We then ground these ideas in traditional self-care practices such as dance, meditation, and artistic expression, creating an entirely next level genre of truly embodied self-care entertainment.”

The other titles on show via Orpheus include Microdose VR, a title combining ‘art, music, and dance to transport the player into a world of fascinating shapes, colours and sound’, and SoundSelf, ‘a decidedly ‘technodelic’ meditation based on unconventional game design using one’s voice and breath to help clear the mind and journey deeply into a surreal reflection of oneself’.

Rave Runner, Microdose VR, and SoundSelf will be on show via Orpheus at PAX West, from August 31 to September 3, booth #6103.

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