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CSR: Video Games for Mental Health

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Video Game - Sea of Solitude
 

According to a report by the World Health Organisation, there are about 56 million people suffering from depression and 38 million people suffering from anxiety disorders in India. Despite such a huge number of people suffering from mental illnesses, the issue is not addressed very well in the country.

With rising awareness about the issue, people are becoming more and more conscious about the kind of content they prefer to consume. The content creators are thus encouraged to create more meaningful content in every sector.

Gaming and mental health have been linked many times even in the past. The fictional world that is created in the game and the power to be able to control it has always been of great comfort to people suffering from autism, personality disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, in recent years, the gaming content has altered in order to address more mental health issues directly.

An upcoming adventure video game called Sea of Solitude is one such game. The game addresses loneliness and the depression caused because of it. In the game, the lead character has to navigate through a partly submerged city as she faces red-eyed scaly creatures. These creatures are people who became monsters because of loneliness. And to save herself from them, she fights to overcome her own loneliness.

Last year, another game called Celeste was launched which explored depression and anxiety. In recent years, several such games have been launched including Night in the Woods and Pry which addresses self-identity, anger issues and post-traumatic disorder. These games have been more popular after the launch of interactive fiction game Depression quest, which asked players to step into the shoes of a character living with depression.

It is important to address these issues through every medium. Experts have said that the interactive nature of video games can make them more effective than a film or television show dealing with mental health. Embodying a video game character suffering from a mental illness will help the people get more sensitized towards the patients and understand the problems they face in a better way. It will lead to a deeper impression in their minds about the nature of the disease.

Thank you for reading the column until the very end. We appreciate the time you have given us. In addition, your thoughts and inputs will genuinely make a difference to us. Please do drop in a line and help us do better.

Regards,
The CSR Journal Team

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