VAD

Preventing video game addiction with Game(L)over”

VAD has established that a growing number of young people struggle with balancing their gaming habits with other aspects of life.
Game(L)over helps bring this balance into perspective in a way that young gamers understand and can relate to.

Preventing video game addiction with "Game(L)over"
Client VAD
Services
  • Digital product strategy
  • User interface design
  • Gamification
  • Content hubs and CMS
  • UX design

VAD (Vlaams expertisecentrum van Alcohol en andere Drugs) is the Flemish centre of expertise for alcohol, illegal drugs, psychoactive medication, gambling, and gaming. 

The organisation has established that a growing number of young people are struggling with balancing their gaming habits with other aspects of life, such as staying on top of schoolwork or keeping in touch with friends.

Over the years, VAD received lots of questions from parents and (youth) counselors about what problematic gaming behaviour looks like and how to deal with it constructively. Many schools and care providers call on VAD in order to stay informed about how these issues could be caused, as well as to provide the right tools for young people and adults alike. 


What’s the objective?

VAD wanted to develop a tool that allows young people to conduct an informed assessment of their own gaming habits. Throughout this process, the aim is explicitly not to communicate to these young people in a pedantic or self-righteous way, but instead to play short games with them that map out all of their other aspects of life and provide them with the tools to assess how these balances are being struck. In order to make this work, it was crucial for the tool to visually and conceptually connect with these young gamers.

This project, which started out as a co-creative session, is part of our ongoing collaboration with VAD and helps highlight our baseline to make real impact. Since 2016, we’ve realised over 10 projects and self-help tools together thus far!

Mockup collectie 50p

Defining our concept

The idea originated from the concept of a lost phone, whereby the young person finds the phone of someone who has problematic gaming habits and gets detailed insights on how seriously this affects different aspects of their life. 

We ended up keeping the phone as our starting point, but changed our approach to simulate a 1‑to‑1 chat conversation with the player’s gaming buddies. The questions and scenarios that come up in these conversations are rooted in real-life situations and feel genuine, resulting in a more deeply reflective look at how gaming fits into the user’s lifestyle. 

Most often, it tends to be the parents who are more concerned about the potential ramifications of excessive gaming behaviour than the youngsters themselves. The parent zone’ aims to provide clear insights on why gaming is as captivating as it is, how to enter into a dialogue with their children about it, and how they can set boundaries. 

In addition to the gamers and parents, Game(L)over can also be used by care providers as an early intervention tool to assist young people and raise awareness about the issue when they suspect an onset of problematic behaviour.

The tool is divided into two separate zones: 

The Gamerzone – featuring tools, games, and guided self-assessments that offer tailored advice to young gamers.

The parent zone – an interactive website where parents are given a toolkit by means of videos and exercises. 

GG!

Needless to say, we always value meaningful input from users immensely. As an initial proof of concept, Game(L)over was received very positively by young people. 

Since its launch, VAD has been sent loads of lovely messages by parents and social workers who have tried and commended the tool for its detailed and nuanced approach to such a common but tricky issue. Similarly, the interesting concept and the tool’s fun design language have also resulted in tonnes of positive feedback from its users! 

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