About FocusLocus

  • FocusLocus: ADHD management Gaming System for educational achievement and social inclusion
  • Project ID: 732375
  • Topic(s): ICT-24-2016 - Gaming and gamification
  • Call for proposal: H2020-ICT-2016-2017
  • Funding : IA - Innovation action

FocusLocus is a H2020 Innovation Action project that aspires to develop a gamified intervention programme for the management of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) condition.


The FocusLocus Consortium will identify key skills that are required by children to overcome the behavioural difficulties associated with ADHD and will consequently establish a range of cognitive training processes for the acquisition and the improvement of such skills. By integrating these processes into a consistent system and expressing them through suitable game mechanics, FocusLocus will provide both an engaging gaming experience and an efficient treatment and monitoring environment. The FocusLocus gamified intervention programme will adopt the concept of asset management as the main instrument of gamification; it will require players to monitor, maintain, associate and combine virtual entities, and will introduce challenges regarding task sequencing, prioritization and combinatorial problem solving, among others.The implementation will be based on adopting elements from the well-established paradigms of Real-Time Strategy (RTS) and Management Simulation (MS) game genres, adapted to the purpose and requirements of the ADHD domain.

The FocusLocus gaming system will allow the ADHD management intervention to be highly personalised according to each individual user’s needs, preferences and demands. In addition, the system will constantly monitor and assess the user’s performance and support the realtime adaptation of the game mechanics in response to the user’s actions and progress in order to maximise the intervention programme’s efficiency.

The FocusLocus gaming environment will be delivered through a multifaceted and adaptive gaming experience that permeates the student’s daily life and activities and spans across virtual and physical space, both at home and at facilities that offer services to children with ADHD, such as clinics, treatment centres and Special Needs Education schools. To that end, the FocusLocus intervention will be bifold; a Virtual World Management (VWM) game mode will become available to individual users for home use, accessible through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. ”

Fig. 1: Conceptual Diagram

The FocusLocus gaming environment will be delivered through a multifaceted and adaptive gaming experience that permeates the student’s daily life and activities and spans across virtual and physical space, both at home and at facilities that offer services to children with ADHD, such as clinics, treatment centres and Special Needs Education schools. To that end, the FocusLocus intervention will be bifold; a Virtual World Management (VWM) game mode will become available to individual users for home use, accessible through mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Virtual World Management (VWM) User Experience mode

At the same time, a Multisensory Mixed Reality (MMR) game mode will become available to relevant facilities for supervised gamified interventions in dedicated, specially configured spaces and will rely on more sophisticated equipment that allow immersive gaming experiences as well tangible and natural user interaction. Both game modes will also rely on Electroencephalography (EEG) wearable headset equipment for the operation of implemented in-game neurofeedback mechanisms.

Fig. 3: Multisensory Mixed Reality (MMR) User Experience mode

FocusLocus intends to enable the active involvement of all intermediaries associated with children with ADHD. Specifically, parents, clinicians and special needs educators will be able to monitor the progress of children using the FocusLocus gaming system and perform any necessary adaptations to the scheduled intervention programme. This will occur through an intuitive FocusLocus web application that will provide visualised detailed performance analytics information as well as access to controls for specifying the target skills to be trained through the game and other in-game settings.

The FocusLocus consortium is coordinated by the Integrated Systems Laboratory of IIT at NCSR Demokritos and is composed of 5 partners: National Center for Scientific Research – Demokritos (EL), Cortechs Connect (IE), Virtualware 2007 SA (ES), Health Service Executive (IE) and Cognitive Systems Research Institute (EL).

Expected Impact

FocusLocus aims to introduce advanced technologies originating from ICT research and gaming industry into non-leisure contexts and specifically into the ADHD domain. FocusLocus therefore aspires to deliver both economic and societal innovations, bearing significant impacts on multiple dimensions and in the areas of technology, learning and behavioural treatment, health, social inclusion, accessibility and economy. The implementation of the proposed game-based intervention is expected to allow children with ADHD to ameliorate ADHD symptoms and overcome associated learning limitations that may lead to social exclusion if left untreated. From a cost-benefit analysis perspective, the FocusLocus will serve in reducing ADHD management costs, as it will provide a cost-effective alternative to currently widespread approaches, such as pharmacological treatment.

FocusLocus also aims to transfer knowledge from the ICT sector and the gaming industry regarding the application of gaming technologies and gamification techniques in non-leisure contexts. Thus, a sustainable community of industry actors and stakeholders is established, engaging developers, researchers and end-users in the development of Business Models (BMs) suited to promote a solid market take-up of Gaming and Gamification.

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