Mental health care gets gamified in new digital project, Horizon

Designer and researcher Marine Renaudineau has found a new spin on mental health care with her graduation project, Horizon. Taking a video-game-like approach to wellbeing, the interactive experience helps users to become more emotionally aware versions of themselves.

Born in France and currently based in London, Marine's creative journey started with an undergraduate degree in Material, Colour and Foresight at Duperré School in Paris. It was here that she developed an appreciation for conceptual storytelling through colour, materials and language. In particular, she honed in on evoking "curated emotions" in people.

Moving to London, Marine wanted to give deeper meaning to her creative practice and took an unexpected path through the MA in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins, from which she recently graduated.

"There, I embraced my passion for storytelling and grew a genuine interest for social design whilst experimenting with digital tools," she tells Creative Boom.

"At the same time as applying my previously acquired skills of engaging an audience through multiple senses, I also focused my process on how the interplay between digital media and our emotions can be harnessed for good in the coming age of digitalisation."

The culmination of these studies and experiments is her graduation project, Horizon. Bringing together Marine's inspirations and aspirations for future projects, Horizon is a "re-questioning [of] our perception of what materiality is." And it does this by blurring the line between physical and digital space.

"Horizon is a digital, interactive experience designed to facilitate access to in-depth mental healthcare by putting psychotherapeutic methods into a video-game-like format," Marine explains. "The game explores the methodology behind Voice Dialogue, a technique used in some psychotherapies and derived from the Psychology of Selves."

The belief behind the Psychology of Selves is that we should not perceive ourselves as a single entity but instead an accumulation of multiple ones. Each of them plays a role in building up who we are and dictating how we should behave. "Horizon is made to guide the player through the process of getting to know those inner selves via roleplay with the ultimate goal being to become more emotionally self-aware," adds Marine.

"Within an immersive environment, you will be given the ability to shift between different parts of your inner-selves' points of view, allowing you to interact with and unfold their perspectives to better understand their place and imperative."

The ultimate intention of Horizon is to act against culturally entrenched views of emotional avoidance and anaesthesia. It also aims to promote the potential of harnessing our emotional awareness. "Designed for people who feel neither depressed nor happy, I hope this gamified approach will encourage people to take daily care of their mental health," adds Marine.


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