Nuanua VR Therapy


Nuanua - VR Therapy

The Nuanua VR game allows residents of Kostamokoti rehabilitation center to practice everyday tasks, daily routines and communication skills in a safe environment. As a VR tool designed specifically for substance abuse rehabilitation, Nuanua is the first of its kind in the world.

The challenge

Individuals undergoing substance rehabilitation often struggle with executive functioning and emotional regulation, daily routines and habits are often lacking, and everyday tasks such as managing affairs and social interaction are frequently difficult. Confronting one's own emotions can be distressing, and impulsivity and overreacting are common. Practicing these challenging situations requires support and concreteness, yet rehabilitation facilitators have insufficient resources to teach everything hands-on.

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Our solution

Nuanua is a VR game designed to bridge the gap between rehab and real life, enabling a safe environment to train everyday scenarios. To ensure that Nuanua addresses real needs, the VR game concept was built based on the experiences, concerns, and challenges of Kostamokoti residents.

The experience

Set on the tropical island Nuanua, the player is tasked with completing exercises related to different times of the day. These tasks are designed to provide physical exercise and to practice routines, following instructions, patience, interpersonal skills, setting boundaries, self-control, and relaxation. The gamified VR world encourages experimentation and making mistakes – one can always return home and try again. By trying out different approaches, players learn cause-and-effect relationships, and with each success, their skills improve, their self-esteem increases and challenging situations gradually become easier.

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The first version of the game is in active use at Kostamokoti. The initial feedback has been positive, with both rehabilitators and rehabilitees finding Nuanua helpful in training everyday skills. The game is developed further based on user feedback and Kostamokoti recognizes the potential of Nuanua and adjacent approaches for other therapy applications as well.

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