I think this article has a great story (Alex Jimenez seems like a fascinating person) and an interesting premise. I definitely think it’s interesting to think about how games can be used to help support people with, and through, their mental health difficulties. While I think there’s a lot of potential for folks to spotlight how negative games can be (and often are) detrimental to one’s mental health, I do think there’s a space for games to have a recuperative or helpful role.
I thought this was a fascinating thread to dig out:
One of the things Burns notes about cooperative multiplayer games (both digital or physical) is that allowing some tweaks to the ruleset can build on cooperative instincts that youth may feel sheepish about acknowledging in other settings. The ability to add mods to digital games is especially useful, as making more zombies spawn in a Minecraft server can force a play group to work together, or lowering resource spawn rates in Terraria encourages communal building.
It’s not pushed further, but it’s an interesting thought from Burns. I definitely think there’s an aspect to games in which someone could either be, or play at, roles they don’t get to be in ‘reality’. If you’re not given the space to be supportive to others in your life (because, for example, you may feel sheepish or insecure about being perceived as weak elsewhere), you can take on that role in a game and explore that side of your personality.