Negating the Mental Health Stigma and Existentialism in Games

Negating the Mental Health Stigma and Existentialism in Games

Dark Souls 2 screen

Hello, Escapist readers! As part of our partnership with curation website Critical Distance, we'll be bringing you a weekly digest of the coolest games criticism, analysis and commentary from around the web. Let's hit it!

This week, Lindsey Weedston examines the need to explicitly name mental illness, rather than sidestepping or leaving ambiguous issues of mental illness in games. Weedston writes:

Being able to speak frankly about psychological disorders and their symptoms is the key to ending stigma, and it helps the people affected tremendously through the simple function of letting them know that these issues are not uncommon and they're not bad people for having them.

Elsewhere, Merritt Kopas suggests that Saints Row IV, which doesn't make relationships a narrative end-game or quest achievement, provides an environment in which to "dismantle a heteronormative romance culture."

Over at Kill Screen, Jordan Smith uses Dark Souls 2 to introduce the philosophies of Kierkegaard, one of existentialism's finest. This one contains spoilers, so beware.

Next, over on Gamasutra, the prolific Ian Bogost argues that,"The Spiny Shell is the most profoundly existentialist element of the Mario canon."

Finally, Monica Kim has an interesting article up at Modern Farmeron the politics of the belly in the Pokemon universe. As she puts it: "The ethical dilemma is complicated by the fact that each species can be a beloved friend of fighter, or it can be a delicious meal."

Want more? Be sure to swing over to Critical Distance to have your fill!

image

Permalink

So... these posts are going to be a table of contents for another site I've neither heard of nor have any interest in?
Well that's one less thing in the news feed to click on, at any rate.

Kieve:
So... these posts are going to be a table of contents for another site I've neither heard of nor have any interest in?
Well that's one less thing in the news feed to click on, at any rate.

I agree. There's been way too much of this kind of thing on the Internet for a while now. I mean, what's with all these link thingamajigs I've been seeing on the net? Everyone knows the only true way to use the Internet is to go to one page and view that page only. Links and referrals and references are just corrupting the youth and giving them ADD. I say we do away with links and references to other sites altogether.

I am keeping my distance from this site. It just seems to be cooky-cutter "criticism" I have heard 3 trillion times before. Still don't get why they are just posting links here.

epicdwarf:
I am keeping my distance from this site. It just seems to be cooky-cutter "criticism" I have heard 3 trillion times before. Still don't get why they are just posting links here.

Probably money or some other perceived benefit. Remember, this is a company. They have bottom lines too.

OT: I have no idea why anyone would want to deconstruct the happy-go-lucky world of Saint's Row. Honestly, I use it to blow off steam, and by that I mean personal venting and not some fantasy about attacking Valve. Also, ten bucks says they threw in 'existential' as a buzzword to gain attention without actually understanding the philosophy and everything it implies.

Gotta put those philosophy degrees to use. That will show Mom & Dad that their money on thesauruses was well spent.

It's the same regurgitated pseudo-intellectual wank that has been kicking around for ages. "Apply this classical comparison to this modern day source. Make huge leaps in logic to make them fit" Is just one of many ways to waste your time. It's up there with people who write books on the politics of Battlestar Galactica. I am not opposed to the concept itself. But It's a very cheap and easy way to make yourself sound intellectual by filling in the blanks of a certain concept with your paticular subject matter. Moviebob has pulled the same trick for years. Google the fuck out of a subject for a week and you can pretend to be an expert on it. On the other hand, A lot of people can only seem to relate to life through video games. If comparing depression about repressed sexuality to Sonic the hedgehog getting super powers and jumping through rings while saving small fluffy creatures trapped in machines stops a suicide then fair enough.

Lono Shrugged:
Gotta put those philosophy degrees to use. That will show Mom & Dad that their money on thesauruses was well spent.

It's the same regurgitated pseudo-intellectual wank that has been kicking around for ages. "Apply this classical comparison to this modern day source. Make huge leaps in logic to make them fit" Is just one of many ways to waste your time. It's up there with people who write books on the politics of Battlestar Galactica. I am not opposed to the concept itself. But It's a very cheap and easy way to make yourself sound intellectual by filling in the blanks of a certain concept with your paticular subject matter. Moviebob has pulled the same trick for years. Google the fuck out of a subject for a week and you can pretend to be an expert on it. On the other hand, A lot of people can only seem to relate to life through video games. If comparing depression about repressed sexuality to Sonic the hedgehog getting super powers and jumping through rings while saving small fluffy creatures trapped in machines stops a suicide then fair enough.

The article on Kierkegaard was particularly terrible.
"...cryptically guide your path, and your own deaths serve as both punishing reminders to tread lightly and the genesis of an overarching question: why do I press on? This question is one answerable only by the player, as the game exists only to ask it. In this fashion, individuality, free from the constraints which would otherwise shape it, has been reduced to its truest expression: will, and will alone."
It's as if the author had read an piece of work criticizing the amount of posturing and obfuscation in modern philosophy and decided he could do one better. It's even funnier that he's talking about some shitty video game.

I love saints row IV too, but she is reading way too far into a mass effect parody.

Does Merritt Kopas have a allergy to capital letters? Slightly odd to see phrases like "One True Love" capitalised, but no capital letters at the start of sentences.

Westaway:

The article on Kierkegaard was particularly terrible.
"...cryptically guide your path, and your own deaths serve as both punishing reminders to tread lightly and the genesis of an overarching question: why do I press on? This question is one answerable only by the player, as the game exists only to ask it. In this fashion, individuality, free from the constraints which would otherwise shape it, has been reduced to its truest expression: will, and will alone."
It's as if the author had read an piece of work criticizing the amount of posturing and obfuscation in modern philosophy and decided he could do one better. It's even funnier that he's talking about some shitty video game.

That is painful to read. It's like standing behind a 2 way mirror watching someone pleasure themselves to their own reflection. Thank you for having the courage to tread where I dare not.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here