PAX Online is coming up next week and we’re looking forward to a new, fun experience! We’re launching our first-ever AFKOnline, an online version of our AFK Room Program. AFKOnline is a moderated Discord server carefully designed to offer peer-based, non-therapeutic emotional support to attendees of online conventions. It’s modeled after our groundbreaking AFK Room Program, which offers that same quiet, supportive environment in person. AFKOnline will be active 24 hours a day throughout the course of PAX Online!
Huge thank you to our partner organizations StackUP, Gaming the Mind, Safe in Our World, and CheckPoint for helping us make AFKOnline a reality!
We’re thrilled to announce that during PAX Online, you’ll be able to purchase Take This branded clothing for the first time online! Keep an eye on our socials for more information once PAX starts. You can also always purchase Boxes of Hope from Wyrmwood Gaming online.
Looking to check out Take This on some awesome PAX Online panels? Here’s our schedule!
Welcome Home: The power of playful communities
3:15 – 3:45PM (PST), September 13 – Channel: PAX
Rachel Kowert (@DrKowert), @Mxiety, @TonzyTV, @GaryWhitta
Being a gamer has always been a source of pride and community for those who play games. With the expansion of streaming services like Twitch,Facebook Gaming, and YouTube live, gaming cultures have transformed into niche local groups to thriving global communities. Many believe that online communities remain somehow “sub par” to face communities, despite the fact that research has found that these communities are powerful sources of social support and identity. Join this panel of online community leaders and content creators as we discuss the true nature and power of social play in online gaming communities in creating friendships, communities, and spaces for self-expression.
Rx: Games as Social Healing
4:30 – 5:30PM (PST), September 16 – Channel: PAX3
Dr. Raffael Boccamazzo (moderator) – @TheeDoctorB, Raffy Regulus – @raffyregulus , Adam Davis – @Sparksforsharks, Jenesee Grey – @jenesee, Dr. Jerome Anderson – @DrJayLTCDR
Gamers are often classified as antisocial and socially inept, who seek games to escape from their “failed” interactions in face-to-face communication and retreat into a reclusive and isolated space. Nothing could be further from the truth. Games are highly social spaces and have been dubbed by some as spaces for “emotional self-mediation”. That is, the social nature of games can be therapeutic to some.
Join this panel of experts as they explore this idea of games as social self-mediation. The panel includes psychologists, researchers, community leaders, community managers, and professional dungeon masters. Together, they will explore the research and their first-hand experience at the power that the social nature of games have on those who play them.
Other panels that our team are on include:
Psychology of the Final Fantasy Series
7:15 – 8:15 PM (PST), September 12 – Channel: PAX3
Anthony Bean, Ryan Kelly, Rachel Kowert, Emory Daniel, Melissa Huntley, Lea Hughes
Anyone who has played Final Fantasy understands that the plots are full of twists and turns. The complex characters, gut-wrenching narrative, and the personal struggle of the characters make it an easy game to relate to. This panel will focus on unpacking these concepts and why this series continues to draw so many people to playing it’s immersive experiences. Topics include mental health representation, theoretical concepts, and why we love this game so much.
Did Animal Crossing Save Our Souls?
12:45 – 1:45 PM (PST), September 13 – Channel: PAX
Catherine Flick, Sebastian Deterding, & Rachel Kowert
We’ve all been playing more games during the Covid-19 pandemic, whether it’s sneaky Switch sessions during Zoom meetings or filling the void of furlough with playthroughs of the latest blockbusters. But how has this increase in gaming affected us? Many have mused that games help us cope with the stress, uncertainty, and misery of the pandemic, and connect with people online when we cannot connect in person. Others have voiced fears that lockdown is the perfect breeding ground for unhealthy gaming habits. So what do we actually know? Join games researchers Dr Rachel Kowert, research director of the mental health in games charity Take This, Dr Sebastian Deterding, who leads the COVID-19 and Games Research Observatory, and ethicist Dr Catherine Flick, of the Ask an Ethicist booth at PAX East, in a discussion about the impact of games on us during the lockdown, all based on the latest research.