Analyze. These video games that care about mental health

Deconstruction of clichés about psychological disorders, immersion in the color card of human emotions or simply a source of comfort in a difficult period – video games are now very interested in what is happening in the minds of gamers.

The links between video games and mental health are often discussed from an addiction perspective, under the topic “just a little bit more.” However, Le Temps points out, “far from the image of a factory of problems, video games can instead become a vector of positive feelings and emotions, or even combat the stigmatization of people with mental illness”.

The Swiss newspaper makes special reference here to the second part of the Psychonauts saga, released last August by the American studio Double Fine. Like his cronies in a psychic spy agency, the hero, Raz, is “capable of getting inside people’s heads to help them overcome their problems. His brain-to-brain adventures are an opportunity to explore psychological disorders staged in intricate universes reminiscent of the aesthetics of Tim Burton films. “

Emotion instead of action

Le Temps offers a list of other examples. “Developed with the support of psychologists and mental health professionals, Double Fine’s title is in line with games like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (for its description of psychosis), Life Is Strange (the problems of adolescence), Limbo and Gray (grief and depression), Firewatch (dementia), Blair Witch (post-traumatic stress disorder) and many more titles that help educate the general public. “

Undark, in addition to citing in part the same examples, analyzes this general evolution of the narratives proposed by the discipline. “Historically, video games have focused on what characters can do with their bodies from the shoulders and from below: hit, run, shoot,” says Jesse Schell, video game designer and professor at Carnegie Mellon University (in Pennsylvania) .


Hugo florent

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