Safe Space: The Video Games Mental Health Podcast
By Safe In Our World
Safe Space: The Video Games Mental Health PodcastJun 03, 2022
The Diagnosis Dilemma (S3E02)
Rosie chats with Dr Raffael Boccomazzo, or Doctor B, who is a clinical psychologist and clinical director at video games mental health non-profit Take This. We talk about Dr B's long history in psychology, therapy and diagnosis, why he's got to where he is today, and his own experiences in diagnosis.
Raffael discusses the intricacies of intersectionality within diagnosis and marginalised groups, and the differences in mental health and neurodiversity such as ADHD and Autism.
Exploring Borderline Personality Disorder (S3E01)
Content Warning: In this episode there are non-graphic mentions of self-harm, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, drug abuse, overdose, emotional abuse and violence. Please proceed with care and remember you can pause the episode and step away at any time.
Charlie Mullins from Companion Group joins Rosie on the podcast to discuss Borderline Personality Disorder, better known as BPD. Whilst uncovering the common misconceptions about BPD, we discuss Charlie's experiences with the disorder and how it's affected his life, relationships and coping mechanisms.
Charlie explains how getting a diagnosis can be bittersweet, and the path to recovery is often much longer than people anticipate. He talks about his support mechanisms, and what has helped him in his journey in the hopes of supporting other folks experiencing BPD or traits of BPD.
We chat about what the games industry (and beyond) can do to better support employees and gamers with mental ill health, such as borderline personality disorder, and the future of accurate representation of personality disorders in popular media.
The Life We Deserve: Unpacking A Plague Tale with Charlotte McBurney (S2E20)
Rosie is joined by two guests; Charlotte McBurney, BAFTA-nominated actress known for her role as Amicia in the Plague Tale Series, and Hannah Rutherford, content creator and SIOW patron.
We deep dive into both A Plague Tale Innocence and Requiem to uncover what goes into emotionally preparing for a character such as Amicia's. Charlotte talks about her experiences in bringing a heart wrenching, beautiful story to life. Hannah talks about the journey of playing the games live with an audience, and managing her community whilst exploring the world of A Plague Tale.
This episode looks at specific themes of joy, grief, desperation and family within the Plague Tale universe, dissecting the Charlotte's personal highs and lows, and how the game connected so many players.
This podcast is split into two parts; the first part being spoiler-free, and the latter going into detailed spoiler territory.
Diversifying Therapy with Demi Fortson (S2E19)
In this episode, Rosie chats to Demi Fortson, Co-Founder at Mendu and Doctoral Student Researcher at Columbia University in the City of New York.
We talk about the origins of Mendu, and it's purpose. Mendu is a self-care app built with a culturally competent AI to talk through your problems with you. It promotes the premise of prompted audio journaling, whilst educating users on topics and feelings built on science and data.
"Our journaling prompts were made by diverse women for others facing similar life events. We are transforming the way therapeutic journaling and meditation is done by providing relevant and inclusive audio pieces you can connect with."
We discuss how mental health stigma differs across cultures, countries and wealth, as well as how this discussion can be broadened to include more experiences, and how diagnostic criteria is linked to group (mis)understanding around certain topics.
Demi explains the differences in therapy and how we can look to become more inclusive and informed when looking for/recommending therapists for example. We look into the concept of audio journaling vs traditional journaling, and why it might be more appealing to many folks, and the usefulness/convenience of audio features.
Finally, we touch on our go-to games for anxiety and stress, whilst highlighting active participation from games vs passive consumption of media and how it can aid in distraction during stressful periods.
STEM Groups to follow
Grief, Healing and God of War with Adam J. Harrington (S2E18)
Now, before we go any further, this is an official spoiler warning.SPOILER WARNING
In this episode we will be discussing heavy spoilers from God of War Ragnarok. If you'd like to avoid spoilers, please don't listen to this episode!
We were delighted to invite Adam J. Harrington to discuss the evolution of Sindri within God of War Ragnarok, and dive into the role that grief played in his character progression throughout the story.
Adam talks about his experiences playing Sindri, and his portrayal of loss within a game which is very much focused on healing and acceptance in many ways. We discuss the challenges that Sindri faced following the death of his brother, and how that translated to Adam's performance.
We also talk about how actors can bring lived experience to performances when tackling heavy emotions such as grief, and the expectations that Adam had for the sequel to God of War (2018). Adam shares memories and experiences that he had whilst performing scenes for God of War Ragnarok, and how the actors were such a tight knit community, and brings to light behind the scenes perspectives of creating this masterpiece of a game.
Sindri's theme also played a part in bringing together the character to the screens, and Adam talks about his relationship with Bear McCreary and the inspirations behind creating the music that accompanied Sindri as a character.
How Games Can Help Us Grieve with Dr Emma Reay (S2E17)
In this episode, Rosie is joined by Dr Emma Reay, Senior Lecturer at the University of Southampton, who researches Games Studies and Game Design.
Emma has previously looked at exploring the therapeutic effects of games for mood repair, building resilience and community, and joins us to discuss games and grief.
We chat about how death is interpreted in gaming, as a fail-state, and how we can look more closely at games who look at death within games as a win state. What happens when we start to uncouple loss and losing? We dive into games such as Spiritfarer, and What Remains of Edith Finch to elaborate on this.
Rosie opens up about her grief during university, and how she used Kingdom as a way to recuperate and process what had happened. We look at how technology has started to change the way that we can grieve loss, and in many ways immortalise who/what we have lost.
We also chat about very real narratives and storytelling through games such as That Dragon, Cancer and Before Your Eyes, and how games can be used as an immersive tool to be a part of the grief process - not just for the player, but for the developer as well.
Autism and Game Development with JJ Fox (S2E16)
In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie talks to JJ Fox about neurodiversity - specifically, JJ's experiences being an autistic game dev and how it links to mental health. JJ is an indie game developer currently working on Hymble Ventures, as well as a Safe In Our World Class of 2023 Ambassador. They are also a fan of cosplaying, kung-fu and heavy metal.
We discuss the common stigmas and misunderstandings surrounding autism in the games industry, and the ins and outs of autism awareness and acceptance. We chat about JJ's game in development Hymble Ventures, which is a 3D puzzle platformer about an insect-like alien on the autism spectrum.
The core mechanics of Hymble Ventures are based on controlling the five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hear). For neurodiverse people, they can be hypersensitive to sensory information and may overreact to increasing stimuli. This autism trait is an inspiration to aspects of Hymble’s world such as quirky, organ-shaped berries that grant enhanced sight, or smell etc.
We cover JJ's experiences of when they have not been supported in the workplace, and highlight the importance of valuing and supporting neurodiverse people at work.
BIPOC Mental Health & Celebrating Diversity with Ladell Smith (S2E15)
On the first episode of 2023, Rosie talks to Ladell Smith, the Associate Social and Community Manager at Auroch Digital, Safe In Our World Ambassador in our Class of 2023, and owner of They Play Podcast - which is a space for gender non conforming people to share their stories and love of games!
We kick off the episode discussing their history of most treasured games, how they started streaming and working in the industry. We focus specifically on how folks can understand BIPOC Mental Health in a more equitable way, and be a better ally for BIPOC folk in the mental health space.
Ladell discusses how stigma can fluctuate depending on socioeconomic status, culture, and location, as well as how that has an effect on BIPOC when opening up about their own mental health.
Finally we celebrate Ladell's favourite moments in their career so far, and look to the future of the industry!
You can find Ladell's personal twitter at @Pastelbat90, or follow their podcast They Play Games at @TheyPlayPodcast on Twitter.
Fighting Games & DnD with Sajam (S2E14)
We welcome Sajam to the Safe Space Podcast, to talk about his experiences in mental health within his content.
Sajam is a Twitch Partner and fighting games commentator/analyst, segue specialist, with a passion for DnD. He was also one of the commentators in Intel Gaming World Relay 2022, which supported Safe In Our World alongside 3 other charities in the games space.
One of Sajam's most popular shows is his series 'Will it Kill?', which involves funny fighting game clips and the community voting on whether the combo will kill or not based on a freezeframe of a hit of a combo.
Rosie invites Sajam to talk about his own experiences as a creator, and looking into the link between mental health and games for him. We cover toxicity in gaming spaces, and his own ways of tackling it as well as his way of setting boundaries and community guidelines. He also elaborates on how DnD has become a bigger part of his life, and why it became special to him.
Additionally, we explore what should be seen more within games communities and the industry as a whole.
Finally, it wouldn't be a Safe Space podcast if Rosie didn't interrogate the guests on their pets, and Sajam didn't disappoint. He talks about his newly adopted kittens, who were born beneath his house, and their adventures in the big world so far.
Navigating Poor Mental Health with RenjiPls (S2E13)
On this episode of the Safe Space podcast Rosie chats with Ambassador Renji, who talks about his journey into mental health advocacy in content creation amongst a myriad of other topics. Renji dives into his mental health experiences including relating to relationships, ADHD, depression and anxiety, as well as his recent coaching with HealthyGamerGG.
How do creators start to talk to their community about mental health? How do you create a safe and open space online whilst streaming? Renji talks about how he's set boundaries and approached these conversations online, which originated in mental health discussion through writing music for his band Ikari.
Other topics include Halloween, TikTok humour, vine era, business cards, wigs, TwitchCon... we cover a lot of ground in this podcast honestly, it's a rollercoaster.
Accountability & Setting Boundaries with Blizzb3ar (S2E12)
We discuss his path into content creation, as well as his motivations for getting into Twitch and the relationship he has with his community. Blizz talks about how his mental health has been affected by content creation, both positively and negatively, as well as having a platform to be unapologetically bisexual and unapologetically Black on the internet.
We discuss how we can set and practice boundaries within internet communities, and the requirement to have a willingness to learn and move forward. Blizz outlines the difference in 'calling in' vs 'calling out' when creators make mistakes, and the importance that they both play.
The importance of having things that are yours, rather than content, is also talked about with the focus on separating work, content and personal life.
Stardew Valley once again comes into conversation as a game that means a lot to Blizzb3ar - which was the beginning of his journey in creation from initially streaming it on his Xbox. As many other gamers have found from Stardew Valley, it became a community to find other players who were part of the queer community for example.
Blizz talks about the fact that he hasn't yet found a character that he sees himself in within the gaming world, and the importance for character representation and having a fully diverse range of people in marginalised communities.
We also touch on what we'd like to see from companies when working with creators.LISTEN TO MORE EPISODES
Want to listen to more episodes of the Safe Space Podcast?
Check out the full list of episodes at this link.
A Conversation with The Witcher with Doug Cockle (S2E11)
In this episode, Rosie chats to The Witcher voice actor, Geralt himself. Though we know him as one of our wonderful Patrons, Doug Cockle.
We delve into mental health in acting as Rosie quizzes Doug on his journey to becoming Geralt, the paths he's chosen, and the obstacles he's faced. Doug talks about how he first became involved with Safe In Our World, right at the beginning of the charity's launch.
Rosie also prompts Doug to discuss any personal self-discoveries he's had whilst playing Geralt over the years, which included a moment of uncertainty that led him to pursue his character and change his path's trajectory for The Witcher.
It's important to mention the intricacies of acting and their connection with mental health, as well as how Doug disconnects from his work to move towards a healthy work-life balance.About Doug
Doug first joined Safe In Our World as a Patron right back when the charity launched in 2019.
Doug is an acclaimed American actor and director. For over 20 years he has worked in theatre, film, television, radio, video games and corporate video and has worked extensively in the video games industry where he is primarily known for his work as Geralt of Rivia in the Witcher video game series. Doug has been the voice of Geralt since the series began in 2007 and has been nominated for several awards for his work with this character.
Emotional Resilience with Posy Brewer (S2E10)
In this episode, Rosie chats to Posy Brewer (Founder, Game Creator and Designer at MYU Creations) about her upcoming game ROBIN, and its role in exploring emotional resilience in video games.
We talk about Posy's experience in creating her first ever game, and the challenges she has faced in the development process so far. Posy explains how the inspiration began behind ROBIN, and how her son helped bring the game to life.
Posy is using ROBIN as a way to also connect with other parents, and eliminate the negative stigma that often surround video games.
Games for Diagnosis with Dr Emilia Molimpakis (S2E09)
In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie chats with Dr Emilia Molimpakis, CEO and Founder at Thymia, and Neuroscientist working within the games industry.
We discuss how games can be used as a tool to assess and monitor mental health using theory from neuroscience, and how cognitive neuroscience and linguistics can be gamified to support clinicians. Emilia takes us through Thymia, which is a platform currently in testing supporting clinicians to more accurately assess and monitor depression.
Emilia broadens the topic of Thymia by discussing it's application to numerous cognitive disorders, and the potential future that technology like this can have within the clinical world.
We also note about how having objective measures of cognitive disorders can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, as it levels the diagnosis that is seen within physical health.
Defenders of Easy Games with Dr Matthew White (S2E08)
In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie and Sky talk to Dr Matthew White, CEO of Whitethorn Games about the culture around easy and casual games.
We chat about Matthew's path into the games industry, and going through the teaching aspect as an assistant teaching professor at Penn State University, having been in the industry for several years and now as CEO for Whitethorn. Matthew discusses the ethos behind Whitethorn and the games that they work on, as 'defenders of easy games', which leads to our discussion on gatekeeping difficulty within gaming.
We look at APICO, one of Whitethorn's latest releases, as a cosy beekeeping simulator about breeding, collecting, & conserving bees, and how games can make a real-world impact. Matthew tells us about his mental health journey within his career, and how he wants to see the industry change for the better.
"While our games might challenge you, they’ll respect your time, they’ll make sure you can play, and most importantly, they’ll never punish you."
How Being Immunocompromised Affects Your Mental Health with Ellen Rose (S2E07)
In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie chats with Ellen Rose from Outside Xtra about her experiences being an immunocompromised creator throughout Covid-19. We also discuss the anxieties that accompany us from events, travelling and day-to-day life.
We discuss the ins and outs of 'Stray', a third-person cat adventure game set amidst the detailed, neon-lit alleys of a decaying cybercity, before chatting about our panel at EGX in 2021.
Ellen talks about the games that have kept her grounded during such a chaotic and hard couple of years, and how being an influence within the gaming space online has affected how she manages her mental health. Ellen also talks about how Outside Xtra (both fans and colleagues) have supported her during the pandemic.
Fighting Toxicity in Gaming with Dr Kimberly Voll (S2E06)
In this episode, Rosie is joined by Dr Kimberly Voll, Head of Studio for Brace Yourself Games, Co-Founder of the Fair Play Alliance and is on the Advisory Council at GDC.
We discuss the previous work that Kim has been involved in, including focusing on player interactions and reducing harassment and hate within her role at Riot. Kim talks about how games companies can actively work towards putting steps in place to promote healthier player interactions in-game, but also within the workplace.
We also cover the gamification of healthcare applications and the use of gamification within education, looking into the future of what games can bring to other industries.
Kim also talks about their experience within GDC as an advisor, as well as her role as Co-Founder of the Fair Play Alliance.
The Psychology Behind Hellblade with Paul Fletcher (S2E05)
In this episode, Rosie talks to Paul Fletcher, Professor of Psychiatry and a neuroscientist, known for advising Ninja Theory in the depiction of mental health within video games, specifically for Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice and their depiction of psychosis. Paul is also on our Clinical Advisory Board here at Safe In Our World.
Paul goes into depth on he was involved within the development of the game, including the incorporation of those with lived experience of auditory hallucinations to create Senua as she is in the final game.
We also discuss the ins and outs of how clinicians can become involved in development to create real people, especially with considerations to the complexities of mental health and personality.
We also discuss our theme of July, which is the trio of nutrition, exercise and sleep, and the prospect of using planned behaviour rather than impulsive behaviour to stack the odds for us to make healthier choices.
A Fairer Games Industry with Rami Ismail (Season 2, Episode 4)
In this episode, Rosie is joined by Rami Ismail, an independent game dev and influence within the games industry. Rami was a part of Vlambeer, and is a part of The Habibis Podcast. Rami has created Meditations, developed presskit(), and is a big voice within the game dev space in advocating for change.
Rami talks about his new passion in flying, and why having something completely separate from every day life is so important to him. Rosie and Rami discuss the state of the global games industry, Rami's journey into that from developing at a young age, and the changes he'd like to see within it.
We deep dive into the #1ReasonToBe GDC Panel, it's origins from the #1ReasonWhy movement, and why it was such a powerful panel within the industry. Rami talks about the powerful games narratives that we just aren't seeing within games at the moment, and how we need to use the voices of the truly global industry in order to make it a fairer place to exist within.
Life Is Strange with Katy Bentz (Season 2, Episode 3)
In this episode, Rosie and Mikayla (Safe In Our World Patron) talk to Katy Bentz, aka the voice of Steph Gingrich from Life is Strange! Katy talks about her experiences as a voice actor, touching on the distinction between the games industry and the film industry, and how to handle audition rejection.
We discuss the impact of characters like Steph for the LGBTQIA+ community, and Katy's experiences playing a character that is so adored within the LIS fandom. Katy recalls some of her favourite moments from recording True Colors, as well as her favourite interactions with the LIS community.
Custom Pronouns in the Sims 4 with Momo Misfortune (Season 2, Episode 2)
In this episode, Rosie and Sky chat to Momo Misfortune. Momo is a Twitch partner who is known for streaming The Sims, as well as campaigning for pronouns in the Sims, and a founder of YOUphoriaTV which is stream team focused on uplifting the voices of Nonbinary and Gender Non Conforming creators on Twitch.
We discuss the incredible causes such as Able Gamers, Trans Women of Colour Collective that they have supported, and the Change.org campaign Momo made for adding pronoun options into The Sims 4 which had almost 23,000 signatures before it became a reality.
Momo talks about It Gets Better as an Ambassador and their connection with The Sims 4, and also about their experience with chronic illness and how it affects their mental health.
Minecraft, Medication and Matching Outfits with Sky Tunley-Stainton (Meet the Team Special)
In this special episode, Rosie is joined by Sky, who has recently joined our team as our Partnerships and Training Officer.
We talk about loneliness, and how Minecraft was a big part of helping combat it during a time where Sky and their partner were living far away from each other. We also delve into Eating Disorders, Self Harm and Medications and how conversation around such topics is fundamental to reducing the stigma.
Of course, there is cat talk, specifically that Sky has a matching outfit with her cat Jerry. Sky opens up about their work in the cinema industry in Saudi Arabia, and how she has got to where she is today in championing mental health for Safe In Our World.
How to Tell Meaningful Stories Through Games with Paula Angela Escuadra (Season 2, Episode 1)
In the first episode of Season 2 of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie talks to Paula Angela Escuadra (she/her) about her vast experience within the game development space where she has broadened the conversation around inclusivity, representation, sustainability and climate consciousness.
We talk about the importance of using games to portray important messages, and how it differs from messages within more static media such as films and books, and what steps developers can take to implement these messages in ethical and proactive ways.
We also discuss the effect that video games can have on player's introspection and identity, and how it can act as a support mechanism to those who may often feel unsafe to be themselves in person.
Paula Angela Escuadra (She/Her) has spent 12+ years elevating the power games have to redefine our relationship with failure and create meaning. She leads research for Xbox Game Studios Cloud Publishing, helping developers make great games that foster meaningful communities. She co-founded IGDA Climate Special Interest Group, co-authoring its newly released Environmental Game Design Playbook. She’s also on Cologne Game Lab’s advisory board with a focus on unlocking sustainability competencies.
(Lastly, she’s a very strong advocate for community care, psychological safety, and dog cuddling as a form of self-care.)
From Filmmaking to Inspiring Change with Benn Wiebe (Special Episode: Meet the Team)
In this special episode of the podcast, Rosie talks to our new Strategy and Corporate Partnerships Officer; Benn Wiebe!
Benn has an incredibly varied and interesting career, from working on the Twilight film (!) to the United Nations. He talks about his passions in moving into the video games space, and actively pushing for positive change for topics such as environmental action and improved mental health support. These creative industries have the power to drive forwards positive change and make a real difference using a loved medium such as film or games.
Benn Wiebe has been a social impact strategist and producer who has lived across the United States, Denmark, and the UK. As the executive producer of HF Productions Benn has overseen a global series of film festivals that champion vast perspectives and international narratives, and has advised or consulted for organizations across film and games including Netflix, The United Nations, Sony Pictures, Sybo Games, Count Us In, Vice Media, Yea! Impact, Global Environment Media, Climate Crisis Hub, and SIE Society. He is a member of the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences, Producers Guild of America, Playing for the Planet Alliance, and the IGDA Climate SIG.
A Game of Minecraft to a Best Man's Speech with Alex King (Mental Health Month Special)
In this special episode of the Safe Space Podcast for Mental Health Awareness Month, Rosie talks to Alex King, Community Manager from Ripstone.
Alex and Rosie discuss the power of games communities, and in particular how Alex found his friendship group of 12 years through Minecraft.
There is also a wasp related incident that occurs mid-recording so, um enjoy? Rosie was very frightened.
Existential Anxiety and how FFIX Helped Liam Wilson (Mental Health Month Special)
In this short series of stories as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Rosie talks to Liam Wilson from Sock Monkey Studios about his journey in mental health, and how supportive workplaces are foundational to supporting our teams and employees.
We also discuss the power of FFIX in Liam's story and how a story arc within the game helped with his existential anxiety during a particularly difficult time in his life.
How Experiencing Addiction Changed My Life with Grant Hill (Season 1 Episode 20)
In the season 1 finale of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie talks to Grant Hill, esports caster for Race to World First for Method and occasional streamer. He's previously delved into esports journalism, as well as casting for Starcraft II.
In this episode, we discuss Grant's journey, including how he was introduced to Safe In Our World, and the recent Race to World First Tournament. Grant opens up about his struggles with addiction, and how it has affected his career and life over the years, including his recent overdose and subsequent path to recovery.
We also discuss the issues surrounding mental health within the esports realm, and how he thinks we could start to change the culture for the better.
Special Effect, Cosmic Hearts and Through Our Eyes with Paige Harvey (Season 1 Episode 19)
In the penultimate episode of the season, Rosie chats to Paige Harvey about her incredible work with the gamers charity Special Effect and the annual Gameblast event that unites gamers each year in support of the charity. Paige also discusses their work in Charity Stream Team Cosmic Hearts, which is a team of content creators devoted to raising funds & awareness for vital causes close to our hearts while championing safe, diverse & inclusive spaces online!
We also discuss Paige's work in Through Our Eyes through podcasts and streams, and the inspirations behind it.
Mental Health Marathons with Mindset By Dave (Season 1 Episode 18)
In this episode, Rosie chats to Dave Cottrell (aka Mindset by Dave) who is a content creator, mindset coach and fellow podcaster!
Dave talks about his journey into becoming a Mindset Coach and Mental Health Educator, and his previous work in challenging the stigma, including in schools. The main focus of the podcast however, is around Dave's upcoming fundraiser and mental health marathon. Instead of running a marathon of miles, Mindset By Dave is hosting a marathon of mental health interviews. A 36-hour stream with 36 different guests. All streamed live via Twitch, raising mental health awareness as well as vital funds for Safe In Our World.
We talk about the stigma of mental health challenges vs physical challenges, how we can listen to ourselves to provide the best self care that we can, and promote positive mental health whilst challenging ourselves.
Stress-relieving games and games industry stories with Jake Kulkowski (Season 1 Episode 17)
In this episode, Rosie talks to Jake Kulkowski about his role at Dead Good Media, his podcasts with Wired Productions and Special Moves, and his career path into the video games industry. We also focus on what games we go to for our own stress relief, and the kinds of titles that enable us to relax, including the discussion around why some gamers find escapism within horror titles.
We discuss Jake's mental health story, and some of the games that mean the most to him.
Content, Community and Inclusivity with GeekyCassie (Season 1 Episode 16)
In this episode, Rosie chats to the lovely GeekyCassie; who is one of the most wonderful creators on Twitch, Director of Nox Lumina, Co Founder of Black Twitch UK and the Community Manager for the Noir Network!
We discuss mental health through content creation and the pandemic, as well as the return to events through Cassie's recently announced Nox Lumina (an events company dedicated to catering to everyone's needs). We talk about the importance of groups such as Black Twitch UK, and the noir network, and how Cassie is uplifting other creators through these fantastic initiatives.
How Games Like Chicory and Celeste Can Help Us with Mark Flynn (Season 1 Episode 15)
In this episode, Rosie is joined by Mark Flynn, PR & Community Manager at Numskull Games, PR and Marketing Manager at Lost In Cult as well as a content creator on YouTube!
Mark delves into his passions about mental health, his current projects, and his journey into the games industry. We talk about Hoa; a delightful Ghibli-style puzzle-platformer, Chicory; a painting adventure indie, and Celeste; a challenging side-scrolling platformer with mental health themes.
We cover some of the challenges surrounding content creation, especially during Covid-19 times, and what we do to take care of ourselves when these issues arise.
How Epilepsy Affects Gaming with Charlotte Callister (Season 1 Episode 14)
In this episode, Rosie is joined by Charlotte Callister, ‘New Impacts’ MCV/Develop IRL Award Winner 2021, disabled queer gamer and Press Engine Platform Coordinator.
Charlotte opens up about the effects of epilepsy on her life, and how she games with that in mind. She also dives into the effects of bullying on mental health, as well as the experience of being pregnant with epilepsy. As a relatively new addition to the industry, Charlotte also talks about her experiences in joining the games world, and how she got to where she is today.
Borderline Personality Disorder and ADHD with Charlotte Rouget-Murphy (Season 1 Episode 13)
In this episode of Safe Space Rosie chats to Char; Distribution Manager at Bossa Studios, as well as an Ambassador for Special Effect and Safe In Our World. Char opens up about what it's like to work in the games industry with BPD/EUPD and ADHD, and how they intertwine with her wellbeing. She talks about her fantastic work supporting charity through streams, including recently Gameblast, and previously for Safe In Our World.
We discuss our all-time favourite titles, our relationships with games and mental health, and how employers can better support those with mental health conditions. Char highlights the importance of becoming an active campaigner for mental health and representation.
Do I Look Like a Gamer with Nigel Twumasi (Season 1 Episode 12)
In Episode 12 of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie talks to Nigel Twumasi from Mayamada about his latest campaign: Do I Look Like a Gamer, and the importance of representation and diversity in games. We discuss the stigmatisation around the word "gamer" and the general associations with the word, and touch on how attitudes are changing around gaming and mental health.
Of course, we have to talk games, and I won't lie... a small (large) portion of the podcast may have focused around God of War and we have zero regrets. It's TOO GOOD.
Please go check out the links below on Nigel's work!
Streaming & The Samaritans with Rach Henderson (Season 1 Episode 11)
In this episode, Rosie talks to Rachel Henderson from the Samaritans.
Rach is the Streaming and Gaming Fundraising lead for the Samaritans, creating a unique position in combining the world of streamers with vital awareness for the Samaritans. We talk about The Night Shift Before Christmas, where creators fundraise over shifts as the volunteers at Samaritan Volunteers do on helplines, and we share stories over the highlights of working with charities and the communities we are involved in.
If you need support, the samaritans can be reached at 116 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Psychology in Games, Gaming Disorder and Cavill Influencers with Dr Rachel Kowert (Season 1 Episode 10)
In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie chats to Dr Rachel Kowert PhD. Rachel is a research psychologist and research director for Take This, as well as a creator of content from books to her YouTube channel Psychgeist which bridges the gap between moral panic and scientific knowledge on psychology and games.
We kick off the podcast with important questions such as "What is a Cavill Influencer" amongst others, and delve into the common misconceptions around key topics surrounding the relationship between mental health and games. We touch on the finer details around how the research field has grown to become more inclusive of games in the past decade, as well as how Rachel is pushing forward positive discussion within academia and beyond.
The Pinned Tweet - Rachel's Twitter Thread
The stories of #AudioIndustryGame with Eliana Zebro (Season 1 Episode 9)
On this episode of Safe Space, Rosie is joined by Eliana Zebro, creator of the recently released #AudioIndustryGame and audio professional in media projects. We discuss the motivations behind releasing the game, which tells the stories of marginalised gender folks and their experiences within the audio industry; including stories referencing discrimination and harrassment.
Eliana discusses their personal experiences in working as a marginalised gendered person within the audio industry and how issues are rife across creative fields. We highlight the importance of being able to tell these stories to promote positive change and transparency to those who can push for improvement from a more privileged position.
Exploring EDI in Games & Autistica with Dom Shaw (Season 1 Episode 8)
On this episode of Safe Space we welcome Dominic Shaw from UKIE as our latest guest.
In this episode we talk about Dom’s life; from games he enjoyed growing up through to the games industry introduction and eventually him settling into UKIE. We also go into depth about LGBTQ+, autism, dyslexia and support within the industry, as well as the journey he took to get where he is today. Dom also talks about his work with Autistica Play.
As always, we grill Dom on his all-time favourite games, and talk about Dom’s love for the Mass Effect series and how he used to skip school just to experience BioWare’s ever-growing Universe. We also go into depth about the impact that video games had in Dom’s life.
You can find Dom here on Twitter.
Follow the Safe In Our World Podcast here on Twitter for clips, updates and guest interactions!
Wii Fit, Irish Accents and Caring for a Loved One with Adam Clarke (Season 1 Episode 7)
On this episode of Safe Space we welcome Adam Clarke from Game If You Are as a guest! We talk about his personal reasons into getting into the games industry, which include talking about his experience as a carer for his sister and her passion for games. We cover Hot Fuzz and the accuracy of the levels of Irish accents within Adam's world, which is surprisingly similar. Of course, it wouldn't be a Safe Space podcast without discussing games themselves, would it? Adam takes us through his most impactful games over the years, and the implementation of creating real choices for players to pave their own paths in games such as The Walking Dead and Disco Elysium.
You can find Adam here on Twitter.
Follow the Safe In Our World Podcast here on Twitter for clips, updates and guest interactions!
Code is Just with Shahid Ahmad (Season 1 Episode 6)
In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie is joined by Shahid Kamal Ahmad for a fantastic discussion covering Code Is Just, imposter syndrome, game development and personal growth. We go from games industry history to jeopardising relationships in Monopoly, and it's worth the ride. Shahid is in his 40th year of working in the games industry, and discusses how he first entered the world of game development and the struggles that he has faced on the journey; such as bullying, racism, illness and poverty.
Links Mentioned in the Episode:
Exploring EDI, inclusivity and diversity within games with Raccine Malcolm (Season 1 Episode 5)
Raccine is a communications professional that specializes in empathy-driven, engagement-based community development and management. Multicultural awareness, belonging, EDI, mental health, along with the interconnectedness of communities are some of her deepest interests and driving forces behind her work. We are delighted to have Raccine as a Safe In Our World Ambassador, championing mental health within the games industry alongside us.
On this episode, we discuss the importance of incorporating EDI into companies and communities, promoting inclusivity and diversity within the games industry and how mental health fits into these topics. We also chat about our favourite mental health related titles, including Raccine's all time favourites such as When the Darkness Comes and Sunshine Days.
Charity Streaming with Hannah Rutherford (Season 1 Episode 4)
On this episode of Safe Space, Rosie and Jake chatted to Hannah Rutherford on all things charity streaming. We get into some of the evolution of games, from Mario is Missing to Lara Croft, as well as the struggles that individuals face when creating content and how we can take care of ourselves.
LGBTQ+ in games with Robin Gray (Season 1 Episode 3)
We had a conversation on the support and challenges within the games industry for LGBTQ+ communities with the wonderful Robin Gray from Gayming Magazine. We chatted representation within video games characters, groups in the industry who rally for change, and touched on tips for those entering the industry on how to find support.
Robin is the Founder of Gayming Magazine, with over 1 million monthly readers, Co-Founder of Gray Jones Media, TV producer at Parrlime Studios and a Patron of Safe In Our World.
Twitch, Content Creation and Leading a Mental Health Talk Show with Mxiety (Season 1 Episode 2)
This episode, we chat with Mxiety (or Marie) about the work she does in broadening the conversation around mental health through platforms such as Twitch, Twitter and more. We discuss the importance of sharing our personal stories, boundaries between creators and their audience, and the pros and challenges that accompany the above.
An Introduction to Safe In Our World (Season 1 Episode 1)
For the very first episode of Safe Space, we wanted to introduce our listeners to the Safe In Our World team, the aims and mission of the charity and some insight into why we're passionate about the conversation surrounding mental health within the games industry and beyond.