Bio-Affective Musical Gaming in Virtual Reality for the Reduction of Stress and Anxiety

According to data collected by Oxford University in 2017, an estimated 284 million people globally suffer from an anxiety disorder. Virtual reality and gaming have been used in research to investigate alternative treatments for phobias, autism, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The effects of music on mood and the brain has also been much researched, but a gap in the research exists that investigates the positive effects of Virtual Reality with music.

For this research, an affective musical game will be developed which implements brainwaves, sweat, and heart rate as the controllers. During gameplay, the player’s biosignals will be input, and the game will respond with generative music, sound effects and visual cues that will coach the player in achieving a calm state. The ultimate goal of this work will be to analyze the effectiveness of affective Virtual Reality and music in reducing the symptoms of anxiety disorders and to open the topic to further research.

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