It’s always great to hear about video game developers doing what they can to support players who suffer from mental health issues. SmashET is an upcoming title from Winsche Studios that has included features that have been scientifically proven to help reduce anxiety.
How Winsche Studios has achieved this is by implementing binaural and monaural beats into the soundtrack. These have been scientifically proven to treat symptoms of anxiety disorders as a recent study carried out in May by Leila Chaieb and colleagues at the US National Library of Medicine discovered. The study found that monaural beats are more effective than binaural beats, and a part of their research reads:
“The majority of studies looking at the effects of auditory beats have been performed using binaural beat stimuli despite evidence suggesting that cortical responses to monaural beat stimuli are stronger than those to binaural beats.”
“We aimed to target states related to anxiety levels and general well-being, in addition to long-term and working memory processes, using monaural beats. Responses for the individual beat frequencies, positive effects on state anxiety were observed for all monaural beat conditions compared to control stimulation.”
SmashET is a 2D action-adventure title that is set during an invasion on Earth by a hostile alien race. Players propel cute monsters up with a moveable trampoline to destroy alien spaceships in a similar style to Breakout. The game has an AI system that learns how the player plays and will adapt the difficulty to allow players to be continuously challenged but keep it a fun experience.
The developers have also consulted and worked with scientists and designers to deliver the best possible experience for the game. There will be one-hundred levels and five unique monsters available.
I reached out to the developer to find out how they plan to implement these binaural and monaural beats into the game. Principal Director Adam Winczewski responded by stating that the Android version of the game will feature binaural beats, the PS4 and Xbox versions will feature monaural beats, and PC and Mac versions will allow players to select if they’re wearing headphones or not, thus allowing them to switch between binaural or monaural beats.
SmashET will be heading to Kickstarter on July 2, 2018 to raise funds to support the launch later this year sometime in September. It’ll be arriving on PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, and then Android sometime in early 2019.