Students Win International Award


Students from UCF’s Department of Psychology recently were awarded the “Best in Show” Award for a game designed to help children with a social anxiety disorder. The award was given at the 3rd Annual Serious Games and Virtual Environments Showcase, part of the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare.

Lift-Off! is a game designed to treat a disorder known as selective mutism. Selective mutism is a form of social phobia that is often associated with excessive shyness and a fear of being embarrassed in social situations. This results in the child not speaking in certain social environments, yet being able to speak at home with their family. The Lift-Off! encourages the child to engage in a number of short speaking behaviors, gradually increasing their comfort speaking in social situations.

Lift-Off! was designed by UCF graduate students Brian Bunnell and Nina Wong. The game was developed by a team of students lead by Ph.D. student Katelyn Procci. Drs. Deborah Beidel and Clint Bowers served as faculty advisors. This team will now work on evaluating the effectiveness of the tool in a clinical setting.

Comments are closed.