Mental Health for Game Development — Checkpoint at GDC 2017

Dr Jennifer Hazel and game developer Joshua Boggs talk all things #mentalhealth at GDC

This year at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Dr Jennifer Hazel, alongside Joshua Boggs, represented CheckPoint in talking about an incredibly important topic — Mental Health, and in particular mental health in the context of the game development industry. Their talk, entitled “Invent a Game, Reinvent Yourself” contributes to the growing dialogue of mental health within the industry, and signals ways in which we can move forward positively with evidence based strategies. So what did they talk about?

Game development is not an easy road. Rates of burnout, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns are high. Join Joshua Boggs, creator of ‘FRAMED’ and honest advocate of mental health care after his own experiences with depression, and Dr. Jennifer Hazel, a psychiatry doctor with a special interest in video games and mental healthcare. They’ll explore how to remain well, the specific traps that the games industry can lure gamers into, such as crunch, competition and social isolation. They’ll talk about how making a game can make you feel terrible, and how to come out of it afterwards a better person. And of course, they’ll provide evidence-based, clinically relevant tips about how to be mindful of your own mental health and what you can do if things get tough.
The slides from our talk at GDC

The hour-long talk covers some really important topics:

  • Exploring a case study of mental illness & recovery within the game development industry
  • Why mental health is an important topic to talk about
  • Game Dev Crunch, Stress and Burnout
  • Anxiety, and Depression
  • Coping Mechanisms
  • A comprehensive evidence-based 3-step model for examining and acting on your own mental health, called the AAA model of Mental Health for Game Developers

The full talk is available to watch for free in the GDC Vault.

CheckPoint’s Triple-A Model for mental health in game development

If this talk has had a negative impact on you, and you feel the need to talk to someone, please reach out.


Originally published at checkpoint.org.au on March 16, 2017.