Mental Health Representation in Video Games


Mental Health Representation in Video Games

An overview of how mental illness is portrayed in video games and what these portrayals reflect about society’s perception of mental illness.

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify mental health representation beyond just characters and narratives

2. Gain understanding how mental illness is portrayed in games vs other medium

3. How to advocate for better representation and where to find it

Dr. Kelli Dunlap, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychologist
Kentlands Pyschotherapy
Adjunct Professor
American University
Community Manager
Take This

Dr. Kelli Dunlap is a licensed clinical psychologist and game designer. She works full-time as a therapist in Maryland and teaches each Spring and Fall as adjunct professor of game design at American University’s Game Lab. She is the community manager for Take This, a games-focused mental health non-profit, and the chair of the International Game Developers Association’s Mental Health special interest group.

Her research for the past 10 years has focused on the intersection of games and mental health with a focus on the use of games in therapeutic settings as well as the portrayal of mental illness in games.

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