The REThink Game

REThink is an online therapeutic game, developed based on psychological science, aimed at supporting the emotional health of young people. The actions and components of the game are based on Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), which is a form of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and which holds the premise that emotions are not directly caused by external events, but by the existing thoughts and beliefs about the external events.

The REThink game was developed by Professor Oana David at the DATA Lab as an accessible, attractive, and effective intervention for preventing emotional disorders in young people. The first version of the game was developed to operate on iOS mobile devices, and its effectiveness was tested in a controlled clinical trial. The results demonstrated its effectiveness in improving depressive mood, emotional regulation skills, and cognitive abilities.

Based on the research grants awarded to Professor Oana David, the therapeutic video game was recently reimplemented and expanded for the new version of the game operates on all mobile devices, with Android and iOS operating systems. We have developed also a 3D version of the game for young adults, called REThink LIFE and we are presenting both versions below.

REThink Game Sneak Peak

The REThink game is built around the character RETMAN, who guides the players through the 7 levels of the game. Each level trains a distinct emotional regulation skill and consists of three sub-levels, increasing in difficulty as they are completed. The game can be administered as a standalone intervention, as an adjunct to a self-help psychotherapeutic intervention, or for training specific skills using individual levels. See levels screens here:

The online therapeutic game also includes an evaluation system, consisting of a sub-level from each game level. This system has been validated as an assessment tool for emotional regulation skills among children and adolescents.

How to play?

The goal of the first level is to train and evaluate the skills of recognizing and understanding people’s emotions. Players are tasked with differentiating between an emotion and a neutral state, basic emotions, and functional and dysfunctional emotions.

In the second level, players learn and practice a breathing exercise and develop their skills to stay present by observing the environment and identifying elements within it.

In the third level, players are tasked with helping a tree grow by removing birds that represent irrational beliefs. As the sub-levels progress, the game’s difficulty increases, and at the end of this level, players’ frustration tolerance is evaluated through an experimental task.

Next, level 4 aims to modify irrational cognitions into rational ones. Players must identify irrational thoughts and provide rational alternatives, with the game progressing in difficulty with each sub-level.

In level 5, players are helped to develop problem-solving skills by learning a problem-solving model called “DECODE.”

In level 6, the objective is for players to train their attention towards positive stimuli by identifying positive stimuli as quickly as possible among negative ones.

In the final level, players consolidate the skills learned in previous levels and train their compassion skills.

Check-out our research based on the REThink Game at https://rethinkplatform.ro/research-updates/

The REThink Life Game


The REThink Life game is developed based on the REThink game in new 3D graphics and consists of 4 levels, each training a specific emotional regulation skill.

Guidance System

This game has an integrated guidance system that can be activated, aimed at guiding the user in implementing the changes trained in the levels within their own context. The character providing the guidance is The Optimizer, delivered in a coaching format, following the rationale of the levels in order to extend real life implementation of game aquired skills.

Description of the REThink Life Game Levels

The players can choose to access any level using the below menu:

Level 1 – „REThink Emotions”, aims to train the skills of recognizing emotions. In this level, players must select the correct response between an emotion and a neutral state, and as the game progresses, the difficulty increases, moving to basic emotions and then to distinguishing between functional and dysfunctional emotions.

Level 2 – “REThink Mindful”, in this level, players are taught a relaxation exercise through breathing, continuing with training mindfulness skills.

Level 3 – “REThink Rational” , this level focuses on the difference between irrational beliefs and rational beliefs and modifying the irrational ones.

Level 4 – “REThink Positive”, the main objective of this level is to train bias towards positive stimuli, with the mission for players to identify smiling faces as quickly and accurately as possible among various negative emotions.

Assessment System

REThink Life includes an integrated evaluation system that comprises of sub-levels for each level, all designed to evaluate a specific emotional regulation skill. This system has been validated as an assessment tool for emotional regulation skills among students.

Currently, the therapeutic game interventions are available only for research purposes. Requests can be sent to this email address: rethink@rethinkplatform.ro