Weekly INT Boost – Take a Breather

Welcome to our roundup of the best mental health and gaming articles you may have missed. This week, we have a peek into our E3 AFK Room, new research on VR and autism, and a lot more.

Amid the madness of E3, there’s a silent sanctuary for rest (and adult coloring books)

”We need to be more aware of mental and physical health within creative media,’ said Kate Edwards, International Gamer Developers Assn. executive director. ‘There is a constant drive to create and overwork and be in this crunch time and sometimes that needs to be tempered. Not everyone will notice [the room] but it’s important that it’s there.’”

Look, it’s us! The Los Angeles Times took the time to visit the AFK Room at E3, and they’ve reported back. If you’ve never been to an AFK Room, definitely check out this lovely article for a look at a major piece of what Take This does at conventions.

Virtual reality may reveal new clues about autism social difficulties

“We need tests that allow us to precisely measure behavior in complex, reciprocal social interactions. To achieve this goal, we and others are investigating the use of virtual-reality technology as a tool for research and, potentially, therapy.”

In Scientific American, researchers explain how they’re using VR to develop better tests of social cognition, hoping to find more applicable tools and therapies with the input of people with autism.

Beauty from ashes: Unpacking Grief in RiME

“RiME explores a humanly ubiquitous experience that no one is ever prepared for: grief. This isn’t a mere melancholy, but an intense aching of the soul that immobilizes the whole being…Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance—these ebb and flow with us, sometimes going out of sequence or reverting in order with the tides of grief.”

Gamechurch explores RiME’s themes of grief and loss in detail. Spoilers are mostly thematic but if you want to go in fresh, you may want to skip this one.

Heavy video gaming can be part of a healthy social life, research shows

“‘People are quick to attribute causal influences,’ van Rooij says. ‘These games aren’t necessarily causing the problems; it might just as well be the other way around. People are not functioning, they suffer from social anxiety, they’re lonely, etc., and they flee into the games because it’s an excellent coping mechanism.’ Researchers need to investigate which symptoms constitute internet gaming disorder—and whether it’s an actual addiction or more an issue of impulse control—before the APA formalizes the definition in its diagnostic manual, Colder Carras says.”

MedicalXpress brings us another angle on recent research that’s shown that heavy gaming can be healthy when people are more connected to others online.

With that, we’re off for a weekend of post-E3 recovery. We’ll be back on Monday. Until then, take care of yourselves — and each other.

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