Tag Archives: video games

Where We Find Comfort in Video Games

If you haven’t heard of Hygge, you may not have been inside a bookstore lately. It’s a Danish word meaning, roughly, “wellbeing,” but it’s also a concept that encompasses coziness, contentment, wellness, friendship — the good life, more or less. Since the 2016 release of The Little Book of Hygge: the Danish Way to Live […]

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How Games Help One Writer Work Through Chronic Pain

For many people with chronic pain, a brighter future can be hard to imagine. Chronic pain is closely linked with several mental health issues, substance use issues, and it’s no wonder — it’s hard to have hope for the future when your hurt all the time. Freelance game journalist Nathanael Peacock opens up about what […]

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Why Frustration is so Compelling in ‘Getting Over It’

When you’re playing a game, you probably don’t set out to be frustrated. Frustration is a feeling we associate with bad game design, with unfair competitions, with controllers thrown at walls. Getting Over It with Bennet Foddy is a game fully intended to inspire frustration, but people still play it. People still play it even […]

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What Destiny 2’s Eververse Can Teach Us About the Psychology of Loot Boxes

For Destiny 2 players, Eververse is a major point of contention. Eververse is a fictional trading company that sells loot boxes for real-world money. These loot boxes, known as Bright Engrams in the game’s lore, contain random cosmetic items like weapon skins, dyes, and emotes. To some players, Eververse is the root of Destiny 2’s […]

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Beating Back Depression With Bloodborne

Bloodborne is a hopeless, dark pit of a game that punishes players at every turn — which is exactly why IGN’s Max Scoville says it helped him get through a period of depression. In this episode of Up at Noon, Scoville opens up about some of his mental health struggles, reminding viewers that they’re not […]

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Playing Games While Talking About Feelings is What BROverwatch Does Best

“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 […]

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Celeste’s Creators Share Their Reasons for Bringing Hope to the Masocore Genre

Masocore games are designed to frustrate. Loosely speaking, they’re part of a sub-genre of the platformer requiring quick reflexes, quick thinking, and a whole lot of patience. Super Meat Boy is a prime example, one that celebrates players’ failures by splattering a level in meat-boy gore. Celeste does things a little differently. It shares the […]

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How Artifact 5 is Designing for Mental Health

Danny O’Dwyer’s Noclip is a channel to watch for anyone interested in the making of games. O’Dwyer produces crowdfunded documentaries about the games we all love and the people who make them. His Noclip Sessions episodes are shorter, intimate conversations with game designers. Last week, Artifact 5’s Samantha Cook stopped by for one of those […]

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Study Examines How Video Games Portray Addictive Substances

Substance use isn’t a major topic in many games. It comes up in some, of course, from Chloe Price’s casual marijuana use to the heavier drug themes of various Grand Theft Autos, but most games aren’t spending much time on accurately representing drug users. As a recent survey has made clear, though, a great many […]

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Why Does Subnautica’s Terrifying Alien Ocean Calm My Anxiety?

Like many people, I find the idea of the deep ocean terrifying. Unfathomable depths, strange, alien creatures — everything that makes Thalassophobia tick. So here’s a strange thing: the most calming game I’ve played in ages is a game about those unfathomable depths and alien creatures. Subnautica isn’t a gentle game. It starts with a […]

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