Welcome to our first roundup of 2018. This week, we have stories about gaming disorder, more costs of doing business as game devs, and a lot more.
Rethinking ‘the cost of doing business’ for game devs
“At the end of the day, even the most vitriolic, abusive fan longs to be favored by the attention of the devs; from a player perspective, there’s a bit of a rockstar aura around the dev who wanders into the forums to chat with the players, or who appears resplendently in-game. That attention is, and always has been, a limited commodity: it must always be reserved for those who treat you like a person, not like a vending machine that dispenses bug-fixes, buffs, and DLC. Treat your colleagues like people, too. If they’re getting barraged with abuse, they need constructive support, not being made into the office scapegoat. They’re not cursed; they’re still the same people you pop into Slack with, and they’ll need the camaraderie more than ever.”
For Gamasutra, Katherine Cross responds to the recent discussion on harassment and abuse of game developers. She specifically addresses ways that those of us who aren’t perpetuating the abuse can help those who are facing it.
Brain Games: How thoughtfully designed tech is addressing cognitive health
“With people now spending more and more of their time inundated with information and other digital stimuli, Gazzaley said that he sees humanity in the midst of a “cognition crisis” that is affecting how people perceive, think, feel, and make decisions. Now more than ever, he argued, it’s vital that healthcare reassert its focus on brain function and the ways in which digital technologies could help improve mental health, long-term wellness, and education.”
Technology isn’t the end-all of mental health support, but it has a role to play — and Akili Labs’ Dr. Adam Gazzaley intends to be a big part of that. MobiHealthNews has more.
“B4R lets players know that they can reach out for help not just when their ship needs repair, but when their real life does as well. Players who need someone to talk to are welcome to join their channels and reach out for assistance. Volunteers from all walks of life are constantly active in these areas, either waiting for “broadcasts” or just carrying on casual conversation. The volunteers listen to these concerns, offer their advice, and generally try and be as friendly and welcoming as possible. They do know their limits, constantly assuring people that professional help is the best option, and providing many references to get that help.”
Kotaku recently shared this amazing story about Broadcast4Reps and how EVE players saved a life – a very heartening read.
The warning of Edith Finch: what we love is killing us
“Of course, this game is a metaphorical exploration of these ideas. But it is good to remember that our love for our work is actually killing creative people right now, because it can be exploited. It is making people crush themselves. Well-known game developers have written about crunching so hard they’ve lost whole years of their memory. Sometimes creative people might stay poor all their lives because what they make is their only income, and companies can make them do it for next to nothing. We shouldn’t have to be broken by our love. It isn’t an inevitability. We should push back to make doing what you love healthy. As Scott Benson says, “Make art. Make rent. Help others do the same.”
There are spoilers within, but Cara Ellison’s take on Edith Fitch is fantastic. Go check it out at Polygon.
WHO: “There is increasing and well-documented evidence of gaming disorder”
“The organisation did stress that the entry on gaming disorder “includes only a clinical description and not prevention and treatment options”, reiterating that the purpose of the ICD is to identify global health trends, helping medical practitioners and researchers to categorise conditions.”
And with that, we’re off. Most of Team Take This is off at PAX South, so if you’re there, come to the Booth of Hope and say hi! We’ll be back on Tuesday with more great stories. Until then, take care of yourselves — and each other.