Family of Heroes

Release Date: 2011

Developer: Kognito Interactive

Resiliency & PTSD role-playing game for families of veterans



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Family of Heroes is an online role-playing training game designed to (1) help families of returning veterans learn essential skills to manage common challenges in adjusting to post-deployment life and (2) connect more veterans experiencing post-deployment stress with VA services.

In the game, players enter a virtual environment and engage in three conversations with emotionally responsive avatars that exhibit signs of PTSD, TBI, depression, and thoughts of suicide. The avatars act and respond like real veterans experiencing post-deployment stress, thereby providing users with hands-on practice within a realistic and risk-free learning environment.

The game was developed in collaboration with the Veterans Affairs of NY/NJ and included input from over 100 family members and veterans. Released in November 2011, the game has been made freely available through licensing agreements with federal and state agencies to the families of over 1.4 million veterans living in New York, New Jersey, Arizona, and Virginia.

A randomized, controlled study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Games for Health: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications in October 2011, found that Family of Heroes is an effective tool to engage families to motivate veterans who exhibit signs of post-deployment stress to seek help at the VA (82% of family members approached their veteran to discuss their concern after completing the training). More about this research can be found here.

Family of Heroes was developed using Kognito’s proprietary Human Interaction Game Engine™, which is based on research in social cognition, neuroscience, and motivational interviewing. Kognito is a NYC-based developer of role-play training games in the areas of health and behavioral health.

Funder: Veteran Affairs NY/NJ Healthcare Network, Kognito

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  1. 0
    Game Developer | Total Game Reviews: 1

    how to play this game!!!!

  2. 8
    Total Game Reviews: 3

    The animation was good. It explained the game and what it was about very well. It made it clear what you had to do and all the options you could chose. Over all I found this to be a good game for the audience it was aimed at.

  3. 10
    Tom Mowbray
    Total Game Reviews: 30

    Excellent educational and simulation-based approach to explaining PTSD. Very professionally produced.

  4. 0
    Total Game Reviews: 2

    Most people can’t play it. If there was a version that everyone could play, it would benefit a lot of people.

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