ICYMI – We put on our thinking caps with @Nebula63 this week!

deb_blur21-225x300We got brainy with Deborah Budding, aka @Nebula63!

We had a great time talking about Neuroscience, Dragon Age, Mass Effect and other Bioware stuff, along with the work Deborah does in neuropsychology.

We’re part of the Geeked.fm network along with Geeks in Sneaks, Chromatic Life and More than Bits. We have tees, and other items in the #INeedDiverseGames spreadshirt shop. We’re splitting the profits 50/50 with Chachibobinks. We’ve got a blog to compliment the show! Follow us at outoftokenscast.wordpress.com If you have questions, compliments, hate mail feel free to drop a note there as well.

Listen on Fresh Out of Tokens or Download the MP3

Questions for Deborah

Two questions from @Thain1982: Are there any games that actually offer a good representation of MH issues?

I don’t think any Triple A games really do a great job with this, but I give Bioware credit for trying. I think the presentation of Cullen in DAI dealing with his Lyrium addiction is pretty good, as well as his trauma at the hands of mages. I find most attempts to present mental health issues pretty tropey, like most representation attempts, but I appreciate when people try!


I haven’t played any demos, but I’m hopeful. I like that it’s 3rd person instead of 1st person, as 1st person can be really overwhelming. If this game promotes more understanding and less demonization of mental illness, then great. It’s produced with Wellcome Trust, a neuroscience/mental health organization, so it at least has that?

For a good discussion re mental health, particularly psychotic disorders, see Justice Points http://justicepoints.com/2015/09/29/episode-112-just-smooch/

I really like the folks at Edgelab at Ryerson, they are very thoughtful re disability issues and super creative. Their work is exciting: http://edgelab.ryerson.ca/ Jason Nolan and Melanie McBride seriously kick ass.

Sam Phillips of Match 3 mentioned this site, and it’s worth a look: http://ontologicalgeek.com/mental-health-month-call-for-articles/

Are there particular games you have encountered that are helpful in managing depression or anxiety

This is a tough question because it’s actually really personal. What one person finds soothing, another may find triggery. I love Smash Hit, a mobile game, but know other people that hate it and find it agitating. Anxiety is deeply connected to our underlying fight/flight/freeze response, and everyone is wired differently. Some people respond more strongly than others to novel situations that they don’t choose. I used to play World of Warcraft to chill, then it got too Grim Dark and colonialist and gross and I had to go.

Some research supports repetitive games like Tetris as soothing for anxiety, addiction, etc, see http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306460315002762

Via @MightyGregDoge: Do you feel DA2 does a good job of framing the trauma and loss experienced by Hawke and co?



What we’re playing/reading:

  • Deborah: DAI, DA2, Alphabear
  • Tanya: AlphaBear, DAI, Witcher 3, Star Wars Battlefront Beta
  • David R: Star Wars: Uprising, Thomas Was Alone

Where to find our guest online

Where to find your hosts online:


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