Addiction Beater


The addiction beater is a gamification of the Cognitive Bias Modification training tasks used in alcohol addiction treatment based on a music rhythm game concept.


Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) has shown to be a promising digital training program for addiction problems, by effectively training away Mal-adaptive cognitive processes implied in substance abuse. These processes include the tendency to automatically approach substance-related cues in the environment. In the original training tasks, despite being clinically effective, the repetitive nature of CBM programs may temper compliance to treatment, especially when people’s motivation to engage in prolonged and repetitive training is low.



Through a user-centered and iterative design process, the AddictionBeater was developed based on a Music Rhythm Game concept to provide a more engaging training experience. Two modules commonly used in CBM training were gamified, namely the response inhibition and approach bias modules for alcohol addiction based on a music rhythm concept. Users are challenged to carry out the training tasks based on the beat of the music.



For instance, in the response inhibition training module, they are encouraged to “withhold” their response for alcoholic drinks and “respond” to non alcoholic drinks


When carrying out the training tasks, users can select from a list of different songs to use as part of their training. The current version has over 20 songs in more than 4 different genres (Rock, Electronic, Classic,International etc). For those who like an extra challenge there is also a bonus song list with super difficult songs.

As users continue to train, they would be able to gain experience points. When they have gained enough points, they would be able to “level up”. As they do so, more difficult songs would be unlocked. The high scores of each song within the therapy group would also be shown so users can compete to see who gets the highest score!


The profile page contains information about the overall training progression , player performance, best friends and enemies and unlockable songs


In the overall performance page for instance, information about the overall performance from the past training games would be shown. This includes a graph of your accuracy and average reaction time for your past games for each training type. The reaction time is calcuated in miliseconds, as the time it takes for you to react once the picture of the drinks is shown on the block during the game.


The game also shows your top 3 “best friends” and “worst enemies”. Your “worst enemies” are the type of alcoholic drinks which you made the most mistakes with in the games you played and the “best friends” are the type of non alcoholic drinks which you made the most “correct responses”.



Here, you can find an online demo of the addiction beater. Note: As this demo used the unity web player to deploy through the website, it would only work on browsers which support the player, namely Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. After installing the plugin, you might need to restart the browser for it to load. The song used was the Sabre Dance (Aram Chatschaturjan) performed by Markus Staab: This was one of the most difficult song used in addiction beater

To play, press the up arrow key once the picture reaches the center of the screen if you see an “up arrow” on the picture. If you see a “down arrow” in the picture, press the down arrow key. Be sure to “click” on the game first to ensure that the input goes in!