Gamer Pride and Mental Health

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Many definitions exist for what it means to be a “nerd” or a “geek.” I am partial to the definition Wil Wheaton gave when asked to describe it to a baby, namely, that it means to love something and to be excited to share it with others. This definition includes all of the hobbies, interests, and loves that someone can accumulate in their lifetime. However, many of these interests have been labeled as “childish” or “inappropriate” for adults; in the past, this has led some people to hide or abandon their passions. More recently, tabletop and role playing games have experienced a resurgence in interest as people are looking for ways to spend time with friends and family.

 

Communities that have grown around games and gaming have also expanded to discuss and celebrate more of the facets of community members. There is room to identify as a geek who is also a member of other communities and to be your full authentic self with others. Additionally, cooperative games are becoming more popular as people are looking to collaborate to solve a problem or create a new world.

Many gaming communities are by definition an ongoing Pride celebration! Online worlds are places where people can explore, express, and celebrate gender and sexuality. Players are able to develop characters that look and behave differently than they do, which allows you to practice new skills and identities. One such community is the Critical Role community. Critical Role started off as a group of friends getting together to play Dungeons and Dragons, becoming heroes and going on adventures to save the world. It turned into a livestream show that has developed a generous and positive community of fans including artists of all types. The players have developed and interacted with characters across the gender and sexuality spectrum and have encouraged their fans to do the same.

 

Other tabletop games provide a range of simple to complicated options for working together to cure disease (e.g., Pandemic), collect treasure (e.g., Forbidden Island), or escape a haunted house (e.g., Betrayal at House on the Hill). These games emphasize playing together, communicating openly, and exploring possibilities.

 

I encourage everyone to discover your passions and find ways to be a hero and solve problems with others who celebrate what you bring to the table.



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Online resources for gaming and mental health

Take this is a resource developed by people in the gaming industry for people in the industry and people who love gaming. They have have an extensive resource list for mental health resources you can find by clicking here.

Geek Therapy is a network dedicated to utilizing the "Geek Mindset" to improve therapy. It describes itself as "the Geek Therapy Network celebrates how Geek culture can save the world by discussing the Geek Therapy mindset through podcasts, videos, blog posts, community outreach, education, and convention appearances."

During the month of June, Critical Role will dedicate the proceeds of their pride T-shirt to Outright International. You can order your shirts here.

Books

Here are two books that I recommend. We receive a small percentage of the sales as we are Amazon Associates. Please consider buying these books through us or at your local bookstore.

The first book is a collection of essays about representation in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Invisible: Personal Essays on Representation in SF/F
By Mark Oshiro, Katharine Kerr, Susan Jane Bigelow, Michi Trota, Charlotte Ashley, Ada Hoffmann, Kathryn Ryan, Nalini Haynes

The second book is a second collection of similar essays.

Invisible 2: Personal Essays on Representation in SF/F
By Diana M. Pho, Bogi Takács, Gabrielle Harbowy, SL Huang

In Pride,

Dr. Camilla Williams, Psychologist

Waves, A Psychological Corporation

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Dr. Camilla

Gamer - Affirming Psychologist

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Camilla Williams, Ph.D.

About Dr. Camilla Williams (PSY 27200)

 

Hi, I’m Camilla Williams, Ph.D. I’m a psychologist but you might also call me a listener, a carer, or a gardener of personal growth.

 

I help people who want to understand themselves better and make positive changes in their lives but aren’t sure how to take the first step and are held back by all the unknowns.

 

I support them as they identify their thoughts, feelings, and desires so that they can find their own voice and use it boldly.

 

I know the power of story from growing up in the Deaf community. I believe, based on both personal and professional experiences, that everyone deserves to tell their story and be believed. I believe that through telling our stories, we find our own wisdom and the strength to be our true selves.

 

I believe that knowing yourself and following your core beliefs will change the world. That’s why I hope you will schedule an appointment with me today.