Martin Dechant

Martin Dechant - University of Saskatchewan

Martin Dechant

University of Saskatchewan

Social anxiety and digital games: Friendly buddies or scary enemies?

Talk Summary:

Social Anxiety is the third largest mental disorder in the world and can lead to withdrawal from socializing in the physical world. However, previous showed that socially anxious players preferentially choose to play MMORPGs. Could this preference help to develop better interventions and assessment for Social Anxiety?

This talk will present how gaming technology is used in the context of mental health and discusses how mental disorders, such as social anxiety, affects the reasons for playing and activities player’s preferences. This talk wants to inform about how games and the underlying techniques are used in the context of Social Anxiety.


Martin Dechant is a PhD Student and works in the human-computer interaction lab of the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) with Dr Regan Mandryk. Besides their work on novel interaction techniques for games and game experience evaluation, the team investigate how technologies and concepts, such as natural user interaction, mixed reality and affective computing, can be integrated in the therapeutic context to help patients suffering under mental health issues.

Besides this work, Martin Dechant also worked as a User Experience Designer for leading Eye Tracking companies, and integrated gaze-based interaction into mixed reality applications and digital games.

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