White Paper Addresses Mental Health Challenges and Improvements Needed in the Video Game Development Industry
SEATTLE, July 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Take This, the first mental health nonprofit organization geared toward game developers and the gaming community, today announced the release of its 'State of the Video Games Industry 2019' White Paper. The white paper explores video game workers' experiences and challenges in the game development industry, taking a close look at how game development companies can mitigate negative impacts and cultivate healthy, productive employees who can make great games. The Take This white paper can be found on its website here. Also, to keep the conversation going, Take This is encouraging those in the game development industry to share their stories on the topics covered in the white paper by posting their industry experiences with the #gameindustrystory on social media.
"Though we have seen a lot in the news on hot topics such as development 'crunch,' online harassment, and company closures and layoffs, we still have much to learn about the unique factors and challenges that affect and impact mental health in this industry," said Eve Crevoshay, Executive Director at Take This. "Over the next year we will be working closely with members of the industry to identify and incorporate best practices for addressing issues of concern and alleviating mental health issues that affect employees, and also conduct original research. We are invested in this industry because we want to bring support and care and concern to the community."
In Take This' ongoing efforts to support the mental health of people who make, play, love, and live games, the nonprofit has been exploring current trends in the industry and how they impact the mental health of game makers and the content found in games. In interviews with industry insiders, and a close review of recent press on the industry, Take This has identified three themes, or areas of concern, within the industry as they relate to mental health safety and wellness: inclusion, instability, and public interaction of employees.
- Instability – The overtime crunch hours, the stability of jobs, and lack of advancement opportunities has led to a workforce that greatly affects the mental health of its employees.
- Inclusion – The slow move to inclusion and diversity in the games industry workforce has led to disconnects between the people who make games and the voices, experiences, and lives of people who play them.
- Public Interaction of Employees -There are a number of risks and stressors that game makers face in their public interactions, from attacks as seen in "Gamergate" to more recent examples of employees experiencing negative interactions with consumers. In addition, negative public perception of the games industry that link violence and games or the newly classified game disorder, can take a mental health toll on game makers.
"For most of my career I have tried to champion game developers to ensure they were fiscally and ethically taken care of," said Mike Wilson, co-founder of Devolver Digital and Good Shepherd Entertainment, two publishing companies who work with a multitude of independent studios globally. "Take This is bringing new attention to mental health concerns in this industry and it's now time for employers to focus on and implement strategies to focus on these highly important issues as we strive to better the game industry as a whole."
Take This was able to produce this paper thanks to the generous donations it received in 2018, including those from Good Shepherd Entertainment, Devolver Digital, Xbox and the Entertainment Software Association. Monies raised also went to Take This efforts, which included:
- Launching the Take This Streaming Ambassadors program, which serves the frontline, grassroots innovators and motivators in Take This' campaign against the stigma, hopelessness, and isolation commonly found when dealing with or discussing mental health issues in the game community. This year Take This Ambassadors put together a special "Take 10 Charity Steam" to fight mental health stigma and reached more than 6000 gamers during their streams and raising money for Take This.
- Organizing and staffing its popular AFK Rooms – In 2018, Take This had more than 3000 attendees visit their AFK rooms at all PAX shows and E3. Take This' AFK rooms offer a safe, calm and quiet space during busy and hectic game conventions. The AFK rooms are a place where gamers can get away from convention/expo craziness and, if needed, speak with professionals about mental health concerns and learn about mental health resources.
- Reaching its Audience – During 2018, Take This moderated or took part in 25 panels to educate conference goers on topics including self-doubt, using RPGs as a therapeutic vehicle, and mental health in streaming, among others.
To address the changes in the industry identified in this white paper, Take This has created a working group that along with other companies includes HR executives from:
Together these leaders will come together to determine best practices to meet the concerns highlighted in the Take This 'State of the Industry' white paper.
About Take This Inc.
Take This is a mental health non-profit that provides resources, guidelines, training and support that is tailored for the unique needs of the game development community and embraces the diverse cultures and issues of the game community. Take This helps those who suffer by letting them know that they are not alone and providing information on treatment options and how to find help. Take This' key programs are its AFK Room Program at conventions, its mental health consulting program for game developers, and its ambassador program for streamers. For more information, visit http://www.takethis.org
View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/take-this-releases-state-of-the-video-games-industry-2019-white-paper-300881775.html