SPARX — a fantasy role-playing game designed by the University of Auckland to teach young people with depression how to manage and overcome their condition — has found a publisher and distributor, it was announced today.
The game first came to the attention of the public when a clinical trial involving it was published in the British Medical Journal in 2012. The clinical trial found that not only was playing the game as effective as receiving face-to-face treatment with a trained counselor, on the secondary measure of remission, it was more effective.
The game is being published by LinkedWellness, a U.S. organization that focuses on bringing clinically-proven e-therapies to people suffering from behavioral health conditions. LinkedWellness’ founder and CEO, David Burt, told Polygon that he first heard of SPARX last year at a health conference and shortly after flew to Auckland, New Zealand, to talk to its developers about publishing the game.