The UK Mental Health Foundation has presented recommendations towards improving gamers’ mental health according to GameRant.com’s Sarah Fields. Based on a multi-week study involving gamers keeping a personal diary, results showed good and bad habits. The bad exposed online bullying and harassment, and avoidance of socializing and personal responsibilities. As a result of the study, five recommendations were presented for developers: Tackling toxic behaviors and communities, embedding mental health content in games, helping gamers game more intentionally, tackling discrimination through representation in the industry and game development, raising mental health awareness in the gaming community more broadly.
Mental Health Foundation Recommends Gaming Industry Changes Based On Study
Educating in the Fight Against a Resilient Enemy
I might confess, I’ve been the victim of online bullying and suffered mental health problems from it. My depression and anxiety worsened, and I lost social confidence for a long period of time. Ailments such as body dysmorphia followed me every day. I’m one of the lucky ones who eventually developed a support system in place. Online cyberbullying and harassment have led to suicides among those who became isolated and felt alone. This has been a constant fight that gets lost among the developing technologies of our time. Youth are especially vulnerable, as they have grown up around technological socializing their entire lives. Teaching people how to deal with such issues is an important part of improving the gaming experience for everyone.
Progression is Being Made Through the Art of Gaming
As Ms. Fields pointed out, many developers have already started tackling this issue ahead of time. Life Is Strange and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice are two games that tackle the experience of different mental health issues through the main character’s eyes. Not only should this raise awareness, but it should be a teaching moment for those wanting to learn what people experience who deal with mental health issues daily.
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