Episode 13: Representations of Mental Illness in Gaming

The Session Zero duo delve into mental illness and its function in game worlds. Join us in thinking a little deeper about the tropes and traditions of our hobby and how they sometimes mimic  people’s lived experience of pain.

CW: Mentions of violence, mental illness, discussions of psychological trauma, brief mentions of suicidal ideation, brief mentions of sexual assault

Steve Discont can found on twitter at @bearlynormal, and Porter Green at @DagmarRugosa.

You can go to the following URLs or research articles to learn about some of the topics discussed in this episode:

Definition and types of mental illnesses: “Mental Health Conditions” by the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Moselhy H, F. (1999). Lycanthropy: New Evidence of Its Origin. Psychopathology, 32, 173-176. doi: 10.1159/000029086 (pdf here)

Blom, J.D. (2014) When doctors cry wolf: a systematic review of the literature on clinical lycanthropy  History of Psychiatry, 25(1), 87-102. doi.org/10.1177/0957154X13512192

Definition of Trauma from the American Psychological Association

Mathieu, C., & Babiak, P. (2016). Corporate psychopathy and abusive supervision: Their influence on employees’ job satisfaction and turnover intentions. Personality and Individual Differences, 91, 102-106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.12.002

Mental Health & Stigma” by Graham C.L. Davey, Ph.D.

The List of Madness Tropes on TVTropes

Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu

Onyx Path Publishing’s Chronicles of Darkness

Posthuman Studios’s Eclipse Phase

Evil Hat Productions’s Fate Core
Jenna Moran’s Chubbo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine

One comment on “Episode 13: Representations of Mental Illness in Gaming

  1. Paul Robinson says:

    I really enjoyed this episode and how well it breaks down good and bad representation of mental health and illness in gaming. When designing a game with mental illness in it do you have any additional recommendations for where to begin research or where to look for psychology consultants that could help ensure its portrayed correctly and with respect?

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