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Can Games Help In The Pursuit of Happiness?

Can games help to improve our self awareness of our emotions and improve the wellbeing of our lives? A series of games designed by Happiness Initiative aims to do that. We find out more!

Q: Please give the readers a short introduction about yourself and your games.

I’m Sherman. I run a research-based social enterprise called Happiness Initiative, which aims to make well-being skills accessible to everyone. While we primarily do a lot of programs in schools, communities, and workplaces, we also develop games and tools to help people learn about well-being in their own time. Some of the games we’ve developed are like Let’s Unpack This, which helps players understand their negative emotions and thoughts better, and What Truly Matters, which helps players uncover their best possible self.

Q: What inspires the ideas behind your games?

Our games are inspired by the work and research that we do. Each time we have a piece of research that is very relevant to people, we explore ideas of how it can be turned into a game to help people learn about it. Games are a great way to engage people and help them be more interested in our work.

Q: What is your creation process like?

Usually, it starts with a piece of research or well-being intervention that is relevant and important for people. From there, we brainstorm ideas of how it can look like in a game. Many times, the games are developed for our workshops first, and then when we see the appeal of the games, we then look at producing it for the mass market.

Q: Who is your target audience and how do you reach out to them?

Our demographic is quite wide – it’s usually for anyone that is interested in improving their own well-being. But generally, the audience tends to be youths or young adults. We usually reach out to them via our community initiatives and programs that we run. We also recently started to promote our games through popup events and markets.

Q: Do you have any plans for future games?

Yes, we are always developing new products and games. Each year, we have at least 3-4 new games that we develop. However, many of them are only used in our workshops.

Q: What tips do you have for integrating learning into game mechanics?

Always be focused on the key learning objectives of the game. And don’t spend too much time planning the mechanics or design in the initial phases. It’s better to do up a rough prototype, get friends together to play it and then give their comments. Ask them questions to see if they learnt what you wanted them to learn. Their insights are often a lot more valuable at the early stages.

Q: What about your game that you wished could have been done better?

I think games are never perfect, and there’s always something to improve. So, I don’t typically get too hung up about things that I think I could’ve done better with because otherwise, the games would never be released.

But… I do always think it can be marketed better!

Q: What is your favorite genre of games or games you think are underrated?

Hmmm, I’m not sure. I’m quite open to most games in generally, and different games suits different contexts. I supposed I tend to like to play more complex and story-based games, but I think it’s different to find time and people to play them with!

Q: Where can your game be found?

Our games can be found on our shop at http://


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