Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice developer Ninja Theory has announced a new mental health R&D project.
As revealed in a blog update, The Insight Project is being developed in an ongoing partnership between the studio and University of Cambridge psychiatrist Paul Fletcher.
The pair worked together on Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, with the studio picking up five BAFTAs in the process.
Fletcher and Ninja Theory claims the project will take place over several years. The aim is to make various experiences through games, helping people to handle their anxiety and fears.
“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,” said Ninja Theory director Dom Matthews.
“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.”
The Microsoft-owned studio has aided mental health charities. In 2018 Ninja Theory raised $50,000 for Mental Health America. That money was raised on top of the $77,753 it raised through a World Mental Health Day sale.
On top of this, the Hellblade developer created a new initiative - the Senua’s Scholarship was created to ensure one mental health tutor got training every year.