Welcome to our roundup of the best mental health articles you may have missed. This week, we have a chat with BioShock’s creator, mental health stigma in sports, and new research about the benefits of gaming for kids.
“If I was sane, I would just go and live on an island. You have a passion to make things that, quite often, are going to make you unhappy, that are going to put you into situations that are stressful, that are going to separate you from your family at times, that are going to open you up to criticism. You could fail.”
In this interview with Rolling Stone, game developer Ken Levine talks about how success doesn’t matter to your mental health issues, how damaging it can be to work in the wrong environment, and why he made some of the choices he made in the BioShock series.
“Hackers attempted to discredit Biles’s gravity-defying performances as the product of doping and not that of a dedicated gymnast who turned her raw talent into unparalleled skills. But in attempting to “bust” Biles for doping, hackers also tapped into a very present stigma surrounding mental health that many people have been fighting against.”
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles did everything right, disclosing her medication use to the World Anti-Doping Association and getting a therapeutic use exemption for it — and hackers still tried to use it to discredit her achievements. As Vox explains, she turned around and shone a spotlight on the stigma that their attack relied on.
“You don’t need to be told that mental illness is very, very common. There are statistics galore: One in five people in the US will experience mental illness this year. When considered over a lifetime, that figure rises to one in four people worldwide. But it still doesn’t feel very normal. We’re surrounded by millions of people who look great, do brilliantly at work, and walk to the subway every day feeling totally trapped and isolated.”
Quartz highlights a walking group for people with mental health issues that’s providing members with a social group of people who understand their struggles — entirely outside a therapeutic context.
“The findings show that one hour of gaming per week was associated with stronger motor skills and higher achievement scores, but no further benefits were found for kids who played more than two hours per week. In fact, excessive time spent on video games was linked to behavioral problems, peer conflicts and poorer social skills.”
If you have kids and you want to introduce them to gaming, PsychCentral shares research that may pave the way for some common-sense guidelines.
And with that, we’re off for the weekend. Remember, if you’re interested in volunteering with us for PAX Aus, now is a great time to let us know. Till Monday, take care of yourselves — and each other.