Weekend Reading – Home From E3 Edition

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Several of our illustrious directors embark on a pre-E3 hat hunting quest with the help of a friendly Goorin Bros. employee.

This weekend, most members of the Take This team are making their way home after a very successful E3. The response from the community has been amazing, and we’re thrilled to have been able to bring the AFK Room to more people in the games industry.

While we do our best to unwind and unpack, here are a few stories that didn’t quite make it to our front page this week — all of which are well deserving of a good read.


Both Introverts and Extraverts Get Exhausted from Too Much Socializing

“Quick question: raise your hand if you ever get tired after talking to too many people. Did you raise your hand? Congrats: you’re human!”

As popular memes would have it, being an introvert means you lose energy when you’re around people, while being an extravert means you gain energy. But before you start thinking that extraverts could walk into a convention full of people and never have to sleep again, this Scientific American article would like to point out a few problems with that idea.


Orlando Tragedy Highlights The Need For Rapid-Response Mental Health Teams

“The sad truth is that there is no national SWAT team specifically for mental health counseling. There is no FBI for trauma. There is no Homeland Security for PTSD. Today, Orlando needs to come to grips with this heinous act of violence. Tomorrow, we need to respond again to the trauma that the community will feel.”

In this piece for The Huffington Post, Rep. Patrick Kennedy calls for a national effort to support the mental health of communities who suffer tragedies like the mass shooting at Pulse. As it stands, there is no guarantee that the survivors of the shooting will receive mental health care. Families who lost someone aren’t guaranteed any support. After events like this, the national conversation always turns to the mental health of the suspect — but what about the victims?


The Video Game Prison System Needs Rebooting

“At first, this seems like a smart idea: isolate the bad eggs so that they don’t ruin the experience for everyone else. But this approach can backfire spectacularly thanks to a concept known as social proof. In essence, social proof is the human version of monkey see, monkey do. As babies, we mimic words and actions to learn how to walk and talk. As adults, we respond to smoke and fire alarms only if the people around us do too.”

More and more games are isolating toxic players to keep them out of everyone else’s way, but Unwinnable ponders whether this will end up doing more harm than good — and whether rehabilitation is a worthier goal.


For Muslims With Eating Disorders, Ramadan Can Pose a Dangerous Choice

“The religious observance exacerbates the dangerous habits of those who already starve themselves. During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to use discipline to ignore their hunger, the same mentality that fuels Altiraifi’s anorexia. ‘The big victory for me was when I experienced that hunger and had the self-control to ignore it,’ she says. ‘That was empowering.'”

Muslims who choose to fast during the holy month of Ramadan go without food or drink between sunrise and sunset. This doesn’t pose a serious health risk for most people, but those with eating disorders can put their health and recovery in danger by taking part. Several Muslims with eating disorders talked to The Cut about that dilemma.


What It’s Like to Cope With Your Agoraphobia by Buying a Motor Home

“There was a restaurant in a bowling alley just down the street — we took the motor home and I’d park as close to the door as possible and I always had to have two parking spaces. Once we were there, I would only be able to eat if I knew that I could run out and get to my motor home. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was sick in a restaurant. I didn’t want to use the bathroom: What if someone came in? What if I couldn’t unlock the door and someone needed to get in and I’m still — you know.”

Polly Meyers has been coping with agoraphobia for 42 years — but for 20 of those, she used an RV to keep her anxiety from holding her hostage. She shared that story with Science of Us. It’s fascinating as a deep look into an issue that we hear about far less than social anxiety or general anxiety, but it’s also a story of hope. Not only did she find a way to experience the world even with her overwhelming anxiety, she also (eventually) found a way to heal.


Mental Illness Not a Factor in Most US Gun Violence, Study Finds

“‘Even if we had a perfect mental health system that treated everyone when they needed it, and gave them effective treatment, we would probably only prevent between 3 and 5 percent of gun violence, and 95 to 97 percent of gun violence would remain untouched,’ McGinty said in an interview with VOA.”

As amazing as it would be if there were more investment in mental health care in the U.S., it turns out that most gun violence has nothing to do with mental health — and conversely, and more importantly for those of us who want to fight stigma, people with mental health issues don’t cause disproportionate amounts of gun violence. Voice of America has more on the study.


3 Mental Health Hacks to Get You Through Low Days

“Distraction Plans: I learned this one from my DBT workbook. It’s been hugely important in getting me to move away from self-destructive habits and to start relying on self-care when I’m struggling.

Here’s the gist of it: You come up with 10 things that you can do when you’re feeling down to boost your mood. Write it down on a note card and keep it handy. Bonus, mine also includes a suicide hotline number at the bottom, just in case.”

Don’t let the title fool you — these three techniques from BlogHer are meant for days that are a lot worse than “low.” Together, they make up a toolbox that will ensure that you’ll always know how to help yourself when you need it most.


Amid the Bright and Noisy E3 Convention, a Mental Health Clinic Provides Quiet Refuge

“Take This’s goal is to de-stigmatize mental health issues in the gaming industry, especially when it comes to employee burnouts. Sixty-one percent of video game developers say they worked at least 50 hours per week during a “crunch” time at least once in their past year, according to a 2015 study from the International Game Developers Association. The high rate of turnovers and layoffs are also a frequent source of stress for video game developers.”

Newsweek stopped by the AFK Room to say hello this week, and they had some very kind things to say about us. To be honest, we’re pretty excited about that.


And with that, we’re off. Have a great weekend. Take care of yourselves and take care of each other — the world can be a dangerous place, but it gets a lot safer when we’re together.