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Published on October 30th, 2019 | by Adrian Gunning

Ninja Theory Announces The Insight Project: Gaming the Mind to Master Mental Health

This morning on Xbox Wire, Ninja Theory announced The Insight Project, an innovative R&D project that is an ambitious combination of technology, game design and clinical neuroscience brought together with the aim of generating strategies to alleviate mental distress.

Following the release of “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice” to critical acclaim in 2017, Tameem Antoniades, co-founder and Creative Director at Ninja Theory and Paul Fletcher, Psychiatrist and Professor of Health Neuroscience at University of Cambridge continued their collaborative partnership on how games can go beyond representing mental illness and distress and how they play a role in promoting mental wellbeing.

Ninja Theory is planning a program of gaming, technological and scientific development that will lead to self-contained, individualised and absorbing game experiences within which people can become an expert at recognising, responding to and, ultimately, controlling their own fear, anxiety and other negative subjective experience. The work will be underpinned by rigorous scientific principles to ensure its effectiveness and validity and it will adhere to strict standards of ethics and data management.

The Insight Project will take shape over several years but is being announced early to encourage an open and transparent approach to its development.  It is an exploratory but experimentally guided project that aims to deliver a mainstream solution to help treat mental suffering and encourage mental wellbeing.

Ninja Theory’s goal is to create and inspire a movement and help mental health treatment to go mainstream, and we hope you’ll join them on this exciting journey.



Ninja Theory Announces The Insight Project: Gaming the Mind to Master Mental Health

Today we are proud to announce The Insight Project, an innovative R&D project at Ninja Theory that we have grand ambitions for. In 2017, Ninja Theory released Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on PlayStation and PC platforms and later to Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and VR. It was headed by Tameem Antoniades, co-founder and Creative Director at Ninja Theory under the guidance of Paul Fletcher, Psychiatrist and Professor of Health Neuroscience at University of Cambridge.

The game received universal acclaim for its depiction of a warrior with severe mental health issues and was described by Wellcome as the best representation of psychosis in any media. It went on to win widespread acclaim, including 5 BAFTAs, 3 The Game Awards and a Royal College of Psychiatrists award.

Subsequent to its release, Tameem and Paul have continued discussions on how games can go beyond representing mental illness and distress and how they play a role in promoting mental wellbeing. These discussions have resulted in The Insight Project, an ambitious combination of technology, game design and clinical neuroscience brought together with the aim of generating strategies to alleviate mental distress.

The Insight Project will take shape over several years but is being announced early to encourage an open and transparent approach to its development.  It is an exploratory but experimentally guided project that aims to deliver a mainstream solution to help treat mental suffering and encourage mental wellbeing.

We plan a programme of gaming, technological and scientific development that will lead to self-contained, individualised and absorbing game experiences within which people can become an expert at recognising, responding to and, ultimately, controlling their own fear, anxiety and other negative subjective experience. The work will be underpinned by rigorous scientific principles to ensure its effectiveness and validity and it will adhere to strict standards of ethics and data management.

This approach will be widely and conveniently applicable, flexible to the needs of the individual and, critically, enjoyable and absorbing in ways that will ensure enthusiastic engagement leading to marked and sustainable change.

Our goal is to create and inspire a movement and help mental health treatment to go mainstream. We hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey!


About the Author

agun@impulsegamer.com'

Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.



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