Weekly INT Boost – Out of the Storm

Welcome, friends, to our roundup of the best gaming and mental health articles you may have missed. This week, we have a harsh look harassment and responsibility in the game industry, thoughts on the comforting power of the games we love, and more.

Pushing the trolls back under the bridge

“Companies who have publicly devoted themselves to rooting out malicious and abusive behaviour in their communities are finding the resources they need to devote to the task snowballing, while many others – including well-to-do industry leaders – have taken the approach of sticking their fingers in their ears and hoping the issue will just go away. On the consumer side, discontent with everything from cheating to abusive behaviour is rife, and there can be little question that it’s driving away potential (and existing) consumers that an industry with spiralling development costs can ill-afford to lose.”

GamesIndustry.biz takes a look back at a year of harassment and ill-will in the game industry, and finds that many game companies have failed to do their part to create a more positive, safer community.

In ‘Prey,’ I could deal with violent aliens, but not the gaslighting

Content note: Spoilers for Prey (2017).

“Alex treats Morgan less like a little brother and more like a stereotypical little sister. He doubts her. He treats her like a nuisance, not like an equal. And worst of all, he treats her like she is unbalanced, untrustworthy, as if he knows her mind better than she does. Alex is the voice in the back of Morgan’s head, making her question everything. He even tries to convince you not to trust yourself.”

Writing for Waypoint, Carli Velocci explores how some of Prey’s twists and turns can be read as reflecting on a gendered experience of abuse.

Virtual therapy and stress-busting apps: can tech support mental health at work?

“Michaela Edwards, a lecturer in organisational health and wellbeing at the University of Lancaster, warns that while some apps can be helpful, they shouldn’t be thought of as a solution. ‘When you’re thinking about wellbeing and stress, it’s important to think about all of the possible causes – individual factors, yes, but also organisational factors. A mindfullness app can’t reduce your workload or train your manager, for example,’ says Edwards. ‘If wellbeing issues are related to broader organisational problems, then an app may be a misdiagnosis of the problem.’

As companies increasingly offer tech solutions to mental health issues at work, The Guardian speaks to experts who are dubious.

The dying man who found hope in ‘Breath of the Wild’

“Over the years, various surgeries would help, but Gabe was never going to be an athlete. (For a while, he did manage to play baseball.) What he could do, though, was play video games. It was an opportunity for him to explore the world in ways that would never be possible for him. Saving the world is cool, but for Gabe, just being able to run across an open field was a fantasy. ‘Gaming was all the more important for the ways in which it could bring such happiness, fun, and beauty,” said his mother. “There were characters he loved, and challenges that his very smart mind needed. It was distraction from the physical discomfort and pain.'”

In this article, Waypoint shares a beautiful, tragic story of hope, games, and community coming together.

And with that, we’re off. Thanks to our Patreon supporters for sticking with us through the confusion this past week. Your support keeps up going strong.

We’ll be back Monday with more great stories. Until then, take care of yourselves — and each other.

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