Games  viewall_button

Ellie Beagle: Therapy Dog
Square Off: Final Fantasy VII Trivia

Speaking  viewall_button

Community Management at the Intersection of News and Games
(GDC 2016) *Awarded Top Speaker

Engineered Collisions Between Games and News
(SXSW March 2017)

Eastern Psychological Association Symposium on Game Design
(Eastern Psychological Association March 2017)

Publications  viewall_button

Mediating Factors in the Relationship Between Video Games and Mental Health

Integration of Game Design and Theory into Group Psychotherapy for Veterans with Severe/Chronic Mental Illness

“Would Ash Ketchum Give Up?” How Psychologist Kelli Dunlap uses Video Games To Reach Kids


I am a passionate advocate for mental health issues and strongly believe in the ability of games to reduce mental health stigma and increase awareness and empathy for psychiatric conditions.

As a psychologist:

I view games as the cultural competency of the 21st century. Over half of the U.S. population plays video games*. The average age of a gamer is 35 and about half of gamers are women*. People who play video games are not at greater risk for psychological problems, but games are frequently used as a means to self-manage issues such as stress and anxiety. As clinicians, it’s critical we understand which games our clients play and why they play them. By facilitating trainings and workshops on video games in therapy for mental health professionals, I strive to assist clinicians develop basic competency in understanding the culture of games.

As a game designer and researcher:

I have a deep respect for games as engagement design. Games are a powerful medium for conveying culture, ideas, and experiences. By creating games around mental health topics, I hope to break the stigma associated with mental illness, increase awareness and empathy about mental health issues, and help those coping with a mental illness to feel validated, heard, and supported.

Let’s talk!

If you’re interested in my work, I’d love to talk with you. I present regularly at gaming conventions, such as PAX, as well as provide trainings and workshops for professionals. As a freelancing game designer, I’m always looking for a chance to help make something amazing/creative/experimental.

Drop me a line anytime!

*Entertainment Software Association 2016 (citation)