Weekly INT Boost – Moving Toward a Brighter Future

Welcome to our roundup of the best articles about games and our wellbeing that you may have missed. This week, we have the latest in loot box regulations, closer looks at a pair of cathartic games, and more.

VR can already help people heal — and it’s just the beginning

“Her findings along with the results of several other studies indicate that there is a link between our physical selves and our digital selves, or avatars. What we see our bodies do on screen can positively impact what our bodies can do in the real world. Davis was first introduced to this phenomenon while working with Fran and her daughter, Barbie. As Fran enjoyed navigating her virtual world with ease, she began to have the confidence to do more physically demanding tasks in the physical world.”

VentureBeat looks at the ways VR is being used to give people hope, as well as all the ways it’s already used in psychology and healthcare.

Loot Crate debate escalates, Hawaiian lawmakers speak

“Last year’s explosion of negative press regarding loot crates in games (especially regarding their impact on Star Wars: Battlefront 2) is still being heard around the world. Now, the issue has reached the ears of a growing number of lawmakers. As covered by the Hawaii Tribune Herald, the latest force to get involved is the Hawaiian state government, members of which have proposed two new laws that could have massive repercussions on the industry if they were to become nationwide law.

Rock Paper Shotgun covers one of the big moves on loot crate regulation this week. Also in the news: US Senator Maggie Hassan has asked the ESRB to reconsider its rating standards for games with loot crate mechanics.

Dab on ’em Haterz is a game about the frustrations of engaging online

“Trying to explain exactly what it’s like to face gaggles of trolls on a daily basis is still overwhelmingly difficult. Dab on ’em Haterz is a game that comes the closest to encapsulating that feeling. The claustrophobic and frustrating sensations that drown out everything else when you’re wading through a never-ending sea of garbage mentions come out while playing Dab on ’em Haterz.”

Polygon’s Julia Alexander shares the frustration of dealing with trolls as a semi-public figure in gaming — and finds the perfect game to express that frustration.

Playing video games is a key strategy for coping with stress, study finds

“Researchers who quizzed 1,000 gamers on their attitudes to gaming found 55 per cent play videogames because it helps them to unwind and relieve stress. And 47 per cent think performing well in a game has a positive impact on their lives outside of the screen, allowing them to look upon other aspects of their lives more positively.”

This week, The Independent shares the results of a survey that show most of us don’t only use gaming to unwind — we find a lot of benefits from it, too.

The dark side of Stardew Valley

“Taken at face value, Stardew Valley is a very happy little game indeed. It lures you in with the promise of a new life as a farmer, away from the pressures of the big city. Bunny rabbits, companionship, and a cutesy retro aesthetic give the impression of a rural paradise ripe for the picking, but as you delve deeper into the town of Stardew Valley you soon come to realize that all is not what it seems.”

Stardew Valley may be one of those games we turn to when we’re stressed out, but as this Twinfinite article explains, that’s not because it’s a complete escape from real life.

And with that, we’re off. We’ll be back Tuesday with more great stories. In the meantime, remember to take care of yourselves — and each other!

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