Everyone plays games, and almost everyone plays digital games. The chances that, as a clinician, the person in the room with you plays video games is quite high; 214 million (64%) Americans are gamers (cite). While not every player sees gaming as part of their identity, many people’s relationship to games and the gaming community carries significant importance.
I floated the idea of a training on games as a form of cultural competence for clinicians back in the Before Times but never heard back. Then, around mid summer, one of the coordinators for the Maryland Psych Association’s conference reached out and asked if I’d be willing to present at the conference.
It’s exciting but also a but nerve-wracking. I love speaking and teaching, and I know I know my stuff when it comes to mental health in games. But that nagging doubt born of graduate school supervisors advising against studying games because “no one will take you seriously” is still there. Grad school was 6 years ago now, but all the stress and anxiety and little tee trauma of finishing that program comes rushing back and reminds me why, after 5 years of grad school, I got my doctorate and then said “peace out” to the field for nearly 5 years.
Not gonna lie though, I’m pretty excited to give a room full of mental health professionals their (probably) first introduction to games as cultural artifacts, to Self Determination Theory, and the gems like this: