Treatment tools for anxiety are many and varied, but video games that use monaural beats are quite rare indeed, and that's exactly what upcoming Breakout-based game SmashET is planned to do. The game uses a cutesy art style inspired by Angry Birds, along with simple gameplay and special audio that generates brainwave-stimulating monaural beats, which are shown to be five times more effective than the more commonly used binaural beats. The objective with making this game is to craft a cohesive experience around a single core concept; using monaural beats in game form to aid in concentration and help to treat anxiety. The game is going to launch a Kickstarter on July 2, and should be out on Steam, iOS and Xbox One in September. There is no word yet on release for any other platforms, though an iOS version makes an Android port plausible in the future.
The game itself boasts around 500 different possible scenarios. It uses deep learning to figure out a player's play style and level of skill, then presents a fitting scenario to keep them engaged without the challenge becoming too frustrating. The game elements and how things are built are different each game, and as you play more, the game learns and adapts to you more. On top of that, the game's background noise and sound font can be changed based on five different monaural beats, including sleep and positivity. Altogether, the experience is meant to provide players with a distraction that helps shift their brain into a more positive mindset and ease anxiety through a multi-pronged approach that combines all the multimedia elements of the game.
This game is unique in its approach to mental health management. It doesn't make the user actively approach their treatment like some mental health treatment methods, but instead presents them a relaxing game to play and simply lets them choose what kind of mood they want it to put them in. Likewise, the game uses deep learning technology to make sure that players are engaged enough to concentrate and pick up on the monaural beats and how they interact with the game, but without becoming hard enough to cause frustration, which can worsen anxiety and, of course, cause players to quit the game.