Content warning: Video includes strong language and discussion of suicide.
“We are going to play Overwatch and talk about our terrible feelings.”
That’s the rallying cry that kicks off the first episode of BROverwatch. And that’s exactly what the team of Duncan, Carl, JP and Jamie proceed to do. They start with a check in: how is everyone doing? And, as the first full episode was recorded shortly after the tragic death of Chester Bennington, they weren’t doing great. They were, in fact, having some terrible feelings to talk about.
They play Overwatch, as well as Fortnite, Rocket League and Destiny 2, but as much focus is on talking honestly and openly. Many men lack that kind of supportive social group, and BROverwatch hopes to encourage more people to create them.
Mashable recently covered the BROverwatch crew:
Don’t let the project’s name fool you: Broverwatch couldn’t be further from the bro-y, alpha male get-together you might be imagining. Social media producer Duncan Vicat-Brown—one of the four “bros”—says the project started up because “men don’t talk about their feelings enough.”
That’s why Vicat-Brown and his friends—filmmaker Jamie Drew, mental health activist Carl Anka, and games writer Jon Partridge—decided to turn their gaming hangouts into mental health check-ins among friends.
“Broverwatch came about as an attempt to reposition group sessions of kicking a digital ball around or murdering space aliens into a check-in,” says Vicat-Brown. “So, how’s everyone doing? How do we feel about X issue? What can we learn from each other’s stories?”
Vicat-Brown acknowledges that games aren’t necessarily the ideal way to open up about mental health for everyone and stresses the importance of things like talk therapy and prescription medicine, but BROverwatch isn’t an attempt to replace those things. Instead, he says the most important thing his team can teach people is that they don’t have to be alone.
“There are options available to you, and people that can help – some of whom might be people you’re already talking to every day.”