February 17, 2014


In MindLight you explore a dark and old mansion. Adventuring and puzzling your way to turn the lights back on with Teru, a magical hat that shines whenever you feel relaxed.

Your calm brings light to the world. Together Arty and Teru defeat their fears and blow away the darkness to bring back the light and save Granny.

MindLight is a serious game with a horror survival theme, made especially for kids that suffer from anxiety disorders. Made in close collaboration with the PlayNice Institute and Radboud University professors Isabela Granic and Rutger Engels.


MindLight uses several evidence-based strategies through which children learn to manage and overcome anxiety symptoms.

  • Relaxation and mindfulness techniques
  • Exposure therapy
  • Attention bias modification methods
  • Neurofeedback mechanics using the MindWave headset

Managing and overcoming Fears

MindLight is an immersive training ground that uses evidence-based therapeutic practices to teach children to overcome their fears.

Players learn to manage their distressing emotions through immersive, engaging gameplay. Children are stimulated to disattend from threatening cues and shift attention away from those cues.

This is made easier by focusing on positive aspects of the environment in the service of relevant goals, and by regulating (dampening) arousal levels associated with anxiety through relaxation and mindfulness.


While being a serious game, MindLight is designed to be intensely fun, to harness children’s intrinsic curiosity and wonder and so bridge fantasy and reality such that children become empowered across all contexts in their lives.

The player’s intrinsic motivation to adventure, explore and accomplish drives them to change their behaviour and overcome their fears.


This behaviour canalizes new neural pathways and these new pathways may be the means by which playing MindLight forms resilient habits of mind that transfer to children’s everyday lives.

The PlayNice Institute together with the Developmental Psychopathology department at Radboud University Nijmegen, aims to test these hypotheses through systematic randomized controlled trials and carefully controlled experiments.


MindLight was a collaborative effort between a few studio’s working very closely together.


English interview with the dutch NPS program Doc Talks by Professor Isabela Granic about MindLight, anxiety, the potential benefits of playing video games.



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