SPARX, a role-playing game that teaches young people how to manage and overcome depression, has found a publisher and distributor, according to Polygon. The game was designed by the University of Auckland and was unveiled as part of a clinical trial that was published in the British Medical Journal in 2012. That clinical trial found that playing the game was as effective as receiving one-on-one treatment with a trained mental health professional.
The game is being published by LinkedWellness, an organization that focuses on bringing clinically-proven software-related therapies to patients that can benefit from them. LinkedWellness' founder and CEO, David Burt, told Polygon yesterday that he flew to Auckland last year to talk to the game's developers after hearing about it at a health conference. Clearly he was impressed.
LinkedWellness is in the process of bringing SPARX to the Unity game development platform so it can be ported to multiple platforms at a later date. The game will initially launch on web browsers, with a tentative release window of this fall. The company is also interested in bringing the game to touch-screen devices at some point too – which is why it is moving the game's development over to Unity.
You can find out more about the game by visiting linkedwellness.com.