Hello, friends, and welcome to our roundup of the best mental health and gaming stories you may have missed. This week, we have several stories about the ways video games affect us and give us space to understand our lives.
“Each of these loves illustrates something different about the sophisticated palette of emotions we lump into one English word. Loving people means dealing with what they bring to the table, returning not-love, as Rumu would call it, with love. It means sacrificing for them. It means, sometimes, cleaning up their messes.”
This article at Gamechurch includes spoilers for Rumu, a sweet, fascinating game about playing a housecleaning robot. It also gets into the heart of the game’s message, which is deeper than you might expect.
I spent 453 hours in Fallout 4 and all I got was this stinkin’ inner peace
“My actions in the game also gave me the opportunity to feel useful, like I was making visible progress on a project when my depression prevented me from leaving the house or pursuing my regular hobbies and goals. The more time I spent in the wasteland, the more it transformed from a space for play into a useful tool for reflecting on and mediating my own mental health.”
A lot of times, games are presented as a way to escape from your issues. But as A.E. Ross shares at Polygon, they can also be a place where you can process your own thoughts and emotions.
“Shadow of the Colossus chooses the road over all of it. It chooses the experience. In that way, it is a pure game, untouchable by the crutches of cluttered open-world design, of signposts telling you This Is How You Should Feel About This Thing You Just Did. The “journey alone is more than enough” is the gambit that Shadow of the Colossus makes, the very foundation it rests on.”
With the release of the Shadow of the Colossus remake, Game Informer’s Javy Gwaltney explores the emotional experience of game spaces, and the ways the journey can be more meaningful than the destination.
“We shouldn’t say that those games don’t have a place or shouldn’t be built. There are just certain considerations that go along with that. Do you want to think about trigger warnings? Do you want to think about changing the perspective of the player in relation to what’s going on? One of the things we see with empathy games is people will try to make a game that traumatizes their player in the name of understanding and awareness, and that might not be the best way to go about it. There are considerations around that.”
VentureBeat shares this transcript of a fascinating panel discussion from Casual Connect USA 2018. Panelists approach accessibility from angles that aren’t often talked about, including mental health considerations.
And with that, we’re off. We’ll be back on Monday, bringing you more of the stories you love. Until then, take care of yourselves — and each other.