Take This is a non-profit charity that promotes awareness and education of mental health issues through outreach to gamers. Its “AFK Rooms” have become a staple of PAX East, West, South, and Australia, and its holiday stream gives gamers a community to help them through a challenging time of year. Soon, the organization will offer a scholarship to help those gamers who need financial assistance toward mental health counseling.
It’s been a year since Take This co-founders Susan Arendt and Russ Pitts were on Polygamer podcast episode #7, and much has happened in that time! In this follow-up, Susan and Ken discuss how the AFK Rooms have since expanded to every PAX; how mental health has been represented in some of 2015’s biggest titles, such as Rise of the Tomb Raider and Life Is Strange; the difference between anxiety as an emotion and as a clinical condition; Take This’s new 24-minute documentary; the intersection of horror video games and mental health; and how to balance helping your friends and protecting yourself.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Take This: It’s dangerous to go alone.
- Take This co-founder Susan Arendt on Twitter
- AFK Rooms are at every PAX!
- It’s Dangerous to Stream Alone fundraiser: from Monday, December 28, 2015 at 12 PM EST, to Tuesday, December 29, at 11:59 PM EST. Share the holidays with fellow gamers and help raise $50,000 for the Take This Scholarship Fund.
- Gamasutra: Geoff Ellenor’s Blog – “So you wanna make video games, huh?” on whether the gaming industry is not conducive to good mental health (hat tip to Josh Sutphin)
- It’s Dangerous to Go Alone: The Story of Take This 24-minute documentary (also embedded below)
- Susan Arendt on “What I lost in Rise of the Tomb Raider”
- “Anyone else could have saved her: Life is Strange gave my personal tragedy a score” by Laura Dale for Polygon
- Ken freaks out in his Let’s Play of Life Is Strange, Episode 4: Dark Room
- Ken Gagne’s first impressions of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories