Mind Roomie is a free game made that teaches children and young adults the foundations of mindfulness practice. Unlike most games, Mind Roomie encourages increasingly slow movements until the player is fully still. At the end of the play session, the player is guided through a traditional meditation exercise. Mind Roomie will be available for Google Daydream VR and might be used in the classroom setting.
Mind Roomie’s outcome is that children and teenagers learn how to meditate using a novel game experience.
Gameplay is wrapped around Mindfulness Triangle: thoughts, sensations, and emotions. The first level represents sensations (i.e. cold, heavy, wind, itchy, etc.); the second level is all about detecting feelings and emotions (i.e. bored, interested, excited, tired, etc.); and the third is about choices and the feelings associated with them (i.e. was hurt, tomorrow, that happens again, buy groceries, shouldn’t have done it, etc). Thoughts are not only metaphorical, but appear on screen for the brief moment, creating patterned noise to increase gameplay difficulty, direct player’s attention and facilitate process of nervous system re-patterning. The game culminates with the short guided meditation for absolute beginners. Duration of the experience varies from 8 to 12 minutes.
Mind Roomie succeeds in using simple imagery spawned by the body and its movement in space. Color and aural changes in the atmosphere combined with one strong visual of bodily representation (the avatar) gives players a more basic image to work through in their mind instead of other apps that conjure up different locations and worlds. This strong image can be useful to users even when they step away from the app as it is something that they could re-imagine in their minds.