Here are some talks about Video Games and Mental Health at MIGW

Melbourne International Games Week is just around the corner (October 5-14) and I compiled a list of talks about Video Games and Mental Health at GCAP (Game Connect Asia Pacific) and PAX Aus (Penny Arcade Expo Australia), which I will check out (and maybe you’d be interested too).


Monday, October 7, 11:00am – 11:50am

Championing Others Starts With Championing Yourself — Creating a Mentally Healthy Work Environment

When we’re given the task of managing others, often our own wellbeing falls by the wayside. Suddenly we’re in charge of humans, and that can be really daunting! So how can we make sure that we’re creating the absolute best workspace for everyone including ourselves? Pritika has been the community manager at CheckPoint for over 2 years now, and in that time has gone from managing an online community, to a team of passionate volunteers and now her coworkers. She’s the first to admit that she’s made some bad decisions regarding her own self care and implores you not to make the same mistakes. This talk will explore the benefits of self care, and how looking after yourself can help you light the way for others.


Tuesday, October 8, 11:00am – 11:50am

Tovertafel – Games for Health

Tovertafel is a game system for elderly people with severe dementia. The games are designed in such a way that they can activate those parts of the brains, which are not damaged by Alzheimer. In his talk, Sjoerd will explain how his company makes games, why The Netherlands is one of the front runners in serious and applied games, and he will share my entrepreneurial experiences in the games industry.


Tuesday, October 8, 12:00pm – 12:50pm

Games as a Therapeutic Tool

People have been playing games as a hobby for a long time but they can also be used to help with mental, physical and emotional therapy. Fast moving games are great for ignoring pain, calming games are great for helping with anxiety and games with big repeated motions are good for exercising damaged muscles or just getting the blood flowing.

Hospitals around the world are just starting to think of games as a tool in their practice and are always looking for fun games that also happen to be useful in their therapeutic goals. There are components they look for in games depending on the therapeutic goal, and many games fit these niches without even meaning to.


Tuesday, October 8, 3:00pm – 3:50pm

Music Therapy in Virtual Reality

People with quadriplegia are disproportionately rurally and regionally located, at high risk for social isolation, and face numerous barriers to accessing music therapy. Previous research has demonstrated that face-to-face group singing therapy improves breathing, voice, mood, and social connectedness for people with quadriplegia. However, latency issues make online live group singing impossible via current videoconferencing options.

This session will provide an overview of how our team addressed accessibility factors when designing a VR application to help deliver online group singing sessions for people with limited mobility.



Saturday, October 12, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Fruitbat Theatre

Mental Health and the Benefits of Video Games

Mental health is a very important topic in this day and age, with over 4 million Australians currently suffering from a mental health disorder. Join health professionals and gamers who have gone through tough times to learn more about mental health, signs, treatment, coping mechanisms, and most importantly ending the stigma. It’s okay to not be okay.


Saturday, October 12, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm, Ibis Theatre

I Choose You! Pokemon Go’s Community and Health Benefits

Pokemon Go is bigger and better than ever.

Since 2016 grassroots communities have spawned worldwide to help trainers on their journey to become the very best, each with their own set of rules and ethics. Since it’s release, Pokemon Go has been credited with bringing people together, facilitating exercise and weight loss, helping people connect with their cities, and promoting overall psychological benefits.

With a panel including vloggers, psychology researchers and Pokemon enthusiasts, this panel delves into the good and bad of homegrown gaming communities, as well as discussing the physical and psychological benefits of Pokemon Go. Finally, we look at what the future holds for Pokemon Go.


Sunday, October 13, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm, Galah Theatre

Gaming is Good For Your Health: Self-Medicating with Games

Preach it to the choir!! Research now backs up everything we already knew: Gaming is GOOD for you. From improving your mental health, pain management, and even boosting rehabilitation after surgery, science is proving more and more how gaming has the potential to do great things for your health. The secret lies in how you self-medicate with games; both computer games AND tabletop. Bringing together a panel of mental health professionals, game developers, and professional game reviewers, we dive into how the gaming culture can help with maintaining a healthy well-being.


More Links:

So add them to your calendars, and maybe I will see you there? Also if there is any that I missed out, please let me know, thanks!

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