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SPARX: anti-depression game to be published by LinkedWellness

A University of Auckland-developed game which aims to help treat depression through play has been picked up for publication.

Polygon reports US organisation LinkedWellness has signed on to publish SPARX, a game designed to teach players to combat and manage depression.

The game, which has proved as effective as face-to-face counselling in clinically trials, will be converted to Unity so it can release on multiple platforms. LinkedWellness is aiming for an initial, in-browser launch during northern autumn ahead of possible release on touch devices.

"There's nothing like this game. It's the only game that's got a clinical trial showing that it reduces depression. It's by far, several years at least ahead of anything else out there," LinkedWellness CEO David Burt said.

One top of the benefits of cost and privacy, which may encourage depression sufferers from seeking treatment they would otherwise miss out on, the medium may have another substantial benefit in that it is immediately accessible to an at-risk demographic; one study found a higher incident of depression among avid gamers.

If you're interested in games which examine depression, Dave Owen penned a rundown of Depression Quest and Actual Sunlight earlier this year.

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