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Mental Health in gaming: Addressing a big problem

It has been a few months now since the Evil Geniuses organization originally partnered with the mental health platform Healthy Gamer, an organization “devoted to gamers becoming healthier, happier, and optimizing their play.” Originally it seemed mostly as a move to assist EG’s Dota 2 as they trained to compete in the International 2021 — bringing on board Healthy Gamer’s co-founder and President, Dr. Alok Kanojia (also known as “Dr. K”) to work as the team’s Mindset and Performance Coach. 

More recently, though, EG’s social media has shown the organization is making the partnership with the mental health platform far more beneficial than initially expected. Released on EG’s social media, the team has revealed they will be making a series of videos discussing mental health as it relates to gamers. The series is called Mental Health In Gaming with Dr. K and will have several episodes detailing the difficulties an esports competitor will face while offering practical advice on how to overcome them. The release of the first episode in the series highlights EG’s unique approach to create content that is not only entertaining, but helpful to the esports community.

The series starring Dr. K lends it a tremendous amount of credibility. Dr. K is arguably the foremost expert on mental health in the esports world. He not only is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist that has specialized in video game addiction, but has spent the past few years working and helping with streamers and esports competitors. There is no more powerful authority figure for this type of content than Dr. K. Additionally, the series makes use of EG’s Dota 2 team — applying this information to some of the best gamers in the world. 

It also must be expressed how great it is that EG is choosing to make this type of content — providing a service to the esports community.

The issue of mental health the series is trying to help tackle is one extremely prevalent in the gaming space. According to Healthy Gamer’s website, “There is a common concern in academia that video games can cause depression. It is a completely valid concern. There is a lot of correlation between violent video games and symptoms of depression. That raises the question: Is there a connection between video games and depression? Playing too many video games can make depression worse. Those who are addicted to gaming are twice as likely to be depressed as those who do not game. Excessive gaming can lead to dopamine exhaustion, emotional suppression, and lack of motivation, among other issues.”

This is further echoed by a study published in the US National Library of Medicine states, “It has been demonstrated that video game addicts suffered poorer mental health and cognitive functioning, and increased emotional difficulties, such as enhanced depression and anxiety, as well as more social isolation.”

It is clearly a big problem, and although the video series is just a small direction, it is a wonderful direction that EG has taken that will hopefully continue. 

Images via Evil Geniuses.

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