Anxiety-Coping Strategies and their Place in Game-Based Learning: An Exploration into How the Integration of Stress-Reducing Strategies into a Serious Game Can Offer Children a Learning Environment that is Both Encouraging and Effective

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Every human experiences stress in some form or another, and in the right amount it can act as an excellent motivator. It is only when a person experiences so much anxiety that it negatively impacts his or her ability to function in everyday life that it is truly considered a disorder. Anxiety is the body’s fight or flight response to perceived danger and—when treated appropriately through various therapies and from a young enough age—those who suffer from anxiety can learn to cope and overcome his or her disorder. Unfortunately, many children who develop anxiety, whether due to a learning deficit or a variety of other factors, take that anxiety into adulthood if untreated. By identifying whether or not a child is struggling in school due to symptoms of anxiety, parents and teachers have the opportunity to teach and encourage healthy coping strategies that can enable the child to appropriately react when experiencing an overwhelming amount of stress and worry. By addressing such symptoms early on, parents and teachers have the ability to recognize unhealthy behaviors and seek professional help if they fear their child is struggling. The intended purpose of this project is first, to understand what ways can the integration of anxiety coping tools and strategies into a game-based learning environment help normalize and alleviate assessment-induced stress; and secondly, how can such a system bring attention to parents and teachers of children who might be struggling in school? This project is not meant to diagnose anyone with learning or anxiety disorders, or provide long term therapy, but rather give students, no matter their condition, an opportunity to learn how to react to stressful situations with healthy behaviors.







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