Game Therapy UK
Game Therapy UK provides evidence-based therapeutic gaming to socially isolated groups.
Camden Game Cafe'
One example of an established Game Therapy UK project is the ‘Camden Game Cafe’ for people experiencing homelessness. Evidence shows that over sixty percent of homeless service users are classified as ‘lonely’, and over a third of service users reported feeling isolated ‘often’. For the past 18 months volunteer staff from Game Therapy UK have been meeting up each week in a homeless hostel to play a specially designed game of ‘Dungeons & Dragon’s’ with several groups of people experiencing homelessness in Camden, London.
This weekly game provides not only a fun, collaberative, social experience but also is designed to stimulate creativity, increase social skills and support recovery. The volunteers from Game Therapy UK include psycholgists, recovery workers and professional game designers. Whilst the clients are engaging with the game, volunteers from Game Therapy UK take the opportunity to intervene and provide training in social skills, support drug and alcohol recovery, and offer psychological therapies.
Feedback from the clients has been incredibly positive.
“I enjoyed playing someone different. Playing a brave character instead of just running away. I can see how playing different people and facing challenges could help me to become more confident”.
“There’s no shame here. It’s kinda like being a kid again. You’re told as adults you can’t do this, you can’t have that imagination. And here you can have as much imagination as you want and that’s really fun. You feel way less self-conscious and able to lose yourself in it. It’s really helped me. It’s been absolutely fantastic, and it’s been a great place to come and forget and have fun and be a bit of a kid again”.
The innovative work done at ‘Camden Game Cafe’ has been presented at International Conferances on Homelessness Health and will be part of a future research project into the benefits of therapeutic gaming.