Weekly INT Boost: Compassion in Gaming

Welcome to our roundup of the best health and gaming stories you may have missed. This week, we have two great pieces from Kotaku about compassion in our community, a look at how Pokemon Go players compare to the rest of the world, and some serious reflection on the hottest Netflix series of the moment.

If you missed it yesterday, we’re celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month with a community effort to create an art book, containing coloring pages and art, that will remind people who visit the AFK Room and beyond that they’re not alone. Interested in participating?


What People Miss When They Use ‘Autistic’ As An Insult

“Alwin, a 32-year-old student who writes on accessibility in gaming, says it’s true that people with autism can get over-excited. ‘It maybe has to do with feeling emotions a bit more intensely,’ he said. When he feels an emotion, it’s “like a full-body thing.” It can be about games; or about music or books. If he’s excited about Horizon Zero Dawn, though, and someone tells him ‘don’t be so autistic about it,’ he might just laugh. It’s ridiculous, in his opinion, to make “autism” a gross synonym for ‘nerd,’ or something worse. It doesn’t make any sense, he says. Autism means a lot of things.”

Kotaku’s Cecilia D’Anastasio talks to gamers who’ve been diagnosed with ASD about the ugly stereotypes and insults prevalent in the gaming world.


‘Pokemon GO’ Players Are Happier and Friendlier According to the University of Winsconsin-Madison

“The study wanted to look at how augmented reality games might benefit players’ psychological well-being, so it focused on Pokemon GO, since it’s the most popular AR game to date. The study looked at 399 US adults aged 18-75 about three weeks after the game went live…A large percentage of those interviewed were more likely than non-players to make new friends or strengthen old friendships”

TouchArcade covers a fun study about the positive factors of playing in augmented reality.


Disabled Streamer Receives Hundreds In Donations After Bullies Kick Him From Match

“Adam “Loop” Bahriz is a 17 year-old Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player who got hooked on the game in 2013 while he was with his Algerian family overseas. In 2015 he started streaming for fun, and after realizing he was gaining some traction, he decided to pursue as a hobby while still in school. On Monday, he was doing something that wasn’t unusual at all—playing a pickup game with strangers. As soon as he entered the lobby, he told his teammates the same thing he says before every game: that he has a genetic condition which has lead to the removal of teeth, which makes him sound different.”

Need your heart warmed? Check out this Kotaku article about the way the community rallied around Bahriz after a particularly bad game.


This Is Why People Are Saying “13 Reasons Why” Is A Dangerous Show

Content Warning: Discussion of suicide.

“13 Reasons Why is the latest Netflix show everyone is obsessed with. Whilst it’s received a lot of praise for its diversity, for flipping the silent dead girl trope, and for its overarching message to be kinder to others, there are a growing number of people who are criticising the show’s troubling portrayal of youth suicide and the risk it poses to vulnerable viewers.”

Teen suicide is a risky topic for a show, and as Buzzfeed explains, it hasn’t been handled entirely successfully in 13 Reasons Why.


PAX East: Thoughts on Gamification for Healthcare

“I’m not a gamer myself but I have spawned a few. Recently my oldest son invited me to go with him to PAX East, one of the largest gaming conventions in the world. Thus, I came to find myself standing in line on a bitterly cold Saturday morning in Boston with tens of thousands of others waiting to enter the Boston Convention and Expo Center.”

Even non-gaming medical professionals can get a lot out of gaming conventions like PAX, and it’s fascinating to see the convention through that lens in Healthcare Informatics.


And with that, we’re off. Have a wonderful weekend (get some rest if you can) and we’ll be back with you on Monday. In the meantime, take care of yourselves — and each other.

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