Good Blocks for iOS trains users to improve their self-esteem

November 10, 2014 in Medical (E)

[] Tel Aviv, Israel - Large parts of our 'self-talk' can be negative and therefore can affect our self-esteem in daily life. By training ourselves to identify positive as well as negative thoughts, hence accept or reject them, we can improve the way we deal with situations as well as give ourselves a powerful tool in understanding the way we think and act. Samuramu today is proud to announce the release of Good Blocks: Mood Training Game 1.0, a new iOS app signifying a relatively new and unexplored breed of games: psychological training games.

"When we looked at what was out there," says Dr. Guy Doron, a senior clinical psychologist and researcher (IDC Herzliya), "we realised the power of our smartphones and tablets and the ways they can be used in positive psychology and mental training is hardly explored".

"As a game developer, I always look at interesting ways to make games more meaningful," reflects Gur Ilany, founder of Samuramu, an independent game development studio located in Tel Aviv, "When Dr. Doron came up with the idea, and stressed such game can be used by therapists worldwide, I immediately knew this was going to be our next endeavor."

What was initially planned to be a 3-week project turned out to be a much longer process, taking the largest part of 6 months to complete. "We kept expanding the project's scope, as the basic concept sparked an avalanche of ideas that directly fit within the core gameplay," explains Gur. "We initially planned to focus on self-esteem alone," adds Dr. Doron, "but as we got to understand the engine we developed two additional modules - Social Anxiety and Body Image".

The core gameplay of the game app is simple: the players are presented with 'blocks' featuring self-talk statements such as "I am useless" - and have to respond as quickly as possible by throwing the 'bad block', therefore rejecting it. When given a positive statement, such as "I am reliable", the players are expected to embrace it by pulling it towards themselves. As the game advances, more blocks appear simultaneously, mimicking a tetris-like frenzy.

"Now that we did our fair bit of development, we are expecting our users to enrich the app with their own ideas for self-talk, negative and positive alike," says Ilany, "we decided to open our platform by allowing users to suggest new sentences as well as entirely new modules". The user-generated content is going to be moderated and integrated into the app on regular basis, expanding the database and reflecting real-world self-talk.

"While the game cannot be a replacement for psychological therapy, we are expecting users to feel an improvement in their self esteem after playing the game daily for two weeks," adds Dr. Doron, adding a big smile. "and it can be used as a tool therapists can empower their clients with. In all sincerity, just by developing the game and during the testing process we felt like our own self esteem improved."

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
* Requires iOS 6.0 or later
* 36.6 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Good Blocks: Mood Training Game 1.0 is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Medical category. The free download includes the basic module, Self Esteem, with additional modules unlockable for a one-time purchase. Unlocking the complete experience opens two additional game modes: Zen and Flappy, which vary the gameplay to allow for even more fun.

Located in Tel Aviv, Israel, Samuramu is a small development studio founded in 2010, with a focus on creating immersive, creative and pro-social gaming experiences for casual gamers, children and niche markets. Tiny Fireman is the company's first successful iOS published game. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2014 Samuramu. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.


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