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Mental Illness in videogames

This is one of those times where you jump into something thinking that you’ll have much more to work with than is actually available. I pored through my games library looking for ones with ties to mental illness, but ended up with a list of only about twenty. It still feels like there might be some obvious ones absent, feel free to let me know if that’s the case.

Mental illness is something that touches most people at some point in their life. With an increasing awareness of it’s prevalence and the impact it has on those affected, the role it plays in our day to day lives finds representation in every form of art. There was, and is, a stigma surrounding mental illness that led to sufferers of a broad variety of illnesses being ostracised as crazy, subjected to inhumane treatment in asylums and denied basic human rights. While this trend has seen a great deal of change in recent years, these depictions of those afflicted still work their way into the narrative of books, films and video games. Games like Fallout, Hotline Miami and Grant Theft Auto V employ representations of mentally ill people as anti-social and psychopathic killers in order to justify the violent behaviour therein.

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