World Mental Health Day: A roundup of archive articles
This Monday was World Mental Health Day. For this reason, I wanted to take a moment to highlight some articles from the site that explore mental health and its relationship to gaming.
Raising awareness about mental health in general is something I am deeply passionate about and I myself have been living with mental illnesses for some time now. I take a variety of regular medications to help with this, and combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, they have worked well for me and my ongoing recovery.
Although not designed to be therapeutic, games have often provided me with a safe haven to escape to. That can often include stepping back into a title from my childhood and feeling that unparalleled nostalgic joy all over again (I’ll always have a soft spot for The Italian Job on PlayStation 2 for that very reason).
There have also been times when games have offered something positive even when I’m not the person actually playing. Sometimes I find a deep emotional connection to a game by watching streams. Our very own Ed Nightingale recently made me cry (don’t worry, I mean the cathartic good kind) when reading Celeste.
So, with all of that in mind, here are some Eurogamer pieces over the years that have caught my eye that speak to the connection between mental health and the world of video games.
Earlier this year, Caelyn Ellis took the time to tell us about his love for RPGs such as Skyrim and Dark Souls. In this piece, she discusses how these games provide her with an emotional outlet during difficult times, and how they can even provide a very welcome “meditative calm.”
Ed Rossignol to-make-Victoria-cry-for-celeste-fame spoke with the developers of Chicory: A Colorful Tale about the game’s nuanced take on mental health in April. In this interview, artist Alexis Dean-Jones reflects on her own experiences with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and how opening up to others about it has not only helped her personally, but improved her friendships as well.
The third piece that I would like to bring to your attention is a small number of Johnny Chiodini. Here, through an accompanying video, they discuss several titles that address mental health issues with “style and sensitivity.” Included in their list is Life is Strange, The Unfinished Swan and Child of Light (pictured in the header), to name a few.
This next one is a truly heartwarming piece, and it put the biggest smile on my face the first, second, and third time I read it. Written by james hollandwho worked in a mental health unit, this article concludes that Dr. Martin Seligman’s resilience theory has a lot more in common with FIFA (yes, you read that right) than you might think at first glance.
Finally, I would like to bring you all back to this review on Psychonauts 2 by Edwin Evans Thirlwell. Edwin awarded this game a Recommended badge upon release, praising the “careful line it walks between caricature and empathy [while] by applying a more sophisticated understanding of concepts such as anxiety, addiction, and post-traumatic stress.” I personally loved this game’s approach to mental health and often wonder if there might be having a cooking show or something lurking in my psyche.
If you need someone to talk to, the Samaritans are here to help. They can be called, free of charge, on 116 123 in the UK and Ireland, or emailed to [email protected] / [email protected] The lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In the United States, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the Lifeline crisis helpline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found on Befrienders Worldwide.