Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Anxiety Gaming Wants To Offer Mental Help Via Game Console

timothy posted about a year ago | from the that's-doctor-wizard-actually dept.

Communications 63

An Ominous Cow Erred writes "In an odd approach to reaching out to otherwise shut-in sufferers of mental distress, an organization called Anxiety Gaming is betting that online intervention is the best way to reach people with emotional difficulties. Their argument is that the social nature of modern gaming makes it a valid means of reaching people who might not otherwise seek help through more traditional channels. According to their Facebook page, their future intentions seem to include distributing consoles to homes for foster youth, to encourage them to look to games for positival interpersonal communication."

cancel ×

63 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44027285)

"Of course these people should be offered all the help they can get. Of course!"

"But MAYBE if they have so much trouble socializing as part of a highly social species, they should be ignored and allowed to die out."

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027321)

"Of course these people should be offered all the help they can get. Of course!"

"But MAYBE if they have so much trouble walking as part of a highly mobile species, they should be ignored and allowed to die out."

-- Stephen Hawking

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027505)

He's kept going longer than people with motor neuron disease.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027335)

as part of a highly social species

Just because most members of the species are highly social doesn't mean that all of them have to be, or that it's bad when an individual is not.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44027393)

as part of a highly social species

Just because most members of the species are highly social doesn't mean that all of them have to be, or that it's bad when an individual is not.

I'm sure that there are peppy-people-person guidance counselors who haven' gotten the memo yet; but the criteria(or at least criteria for intervention) for most psych disorders includes '*whatever symptoms* are present and cause the patient significant trouble or distress'. Starting "Operation Afflict The Solitary" purely because Being Social Is Good! is pointless and unethical norm-imposition.

Providing a means by which the lonely-but-socially-anxious can acclimatize themselves, by contrast, would certainly be a good thing, even better if it can be done by means that are cheaper, easier to distribute, and lower-stigma than psychologists/psychiatrists.

I'd be a bit sceptical as to whether present-day retail-ready tech is good enough at reading and displaying things like facial nuance that(much to my vexation) are vital to in-person communication; but if they are, this seems like a good thing.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44027445)

And it's that latter part, i.e. "and causes the patient significant trouble or distress" that is very often overlooked, especially in kids.

I really wonder how many of our kids that "need" some kind of psychoactive drug would be perfectly happy without.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

Millennium (2451) | about a year ago | (#44027841)

Neither, however, does it exclude the possibility that maybe we do have to be; that some level of social activity is, on a mental level, just as vital as food is to the body.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033821)

For me, personally, I know I can live with a lot less social interaction than most. But if I'm severely isolated for a long time, it starts to negatively impact me(I've noticed this on several occasions in my life). Not really scientific, but even an anti-social introvert such as myself can admit that *some* social interaction is necessary.

I don't have the link but I remember reading a study that showed the positive impact that social interactions have on people, and one suggestion for further study was to look at the affects on people who get depressed in winter(I forget what that's called and I'm lazy, sorry), and see if a more active social life can curb the seasonal depression.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44036533)

people who get depressed in winter(I forget what that's called and I'm lazy, sorry),

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD... I'm not kidding.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44041761)

If you mean that people must be highly social... no. I'm practically a hermit (I even work at home) and am perfectly fine with that. However, I think even this counts as social interaction, but maybe some people would be fine being completely alone (I don't know).

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027407)

I thought of myself as a anti-social lonewolf.

Then one day I went out and bought a barbell and about 70KG of plates. I don't know what my problem was, feeling insecure about the way my body looked or some deep rooted issue about how weak and vulnerable I was. The latter I think, possibly from how much I got beat up in elementary school.

The anxiety is gone now, and I feel empowered by interaction with other people. Maybe act even a bit cocky and bullheaded. All it takes is the will to change.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44027453)

I'm not so sure whether it really is a good idea to beef up some anti-social lonewolves before sending them out against the rest of humanity...

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (5, Insightful)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#44027775)

It's wonderful being normal, isn't it?

One of the kinds of deep running insanities inside of me is called social anxiety (SA, for short). It's a very debilitating demon that's very nature prevents you from going out and getting the help so desperately require (not that the help is going to be terribly effective, SSRIs are a lackluster treatment, tbh).

One of the things that people like me (but not necessarily me) take offense to is normal people equating their petty little social insecurities with our living hell. So while it may be true you need to have the will to change to really get better (always good advice), I cannot help but laugh at your ignorance. If it were really as easy as a bit of bulking I'd imagine SA to be one of the rarer mental illnesses rather than being stuck in the top five. And yes, attractive people have it to.

If you want to play the comparison game, your discomfort is a small hill, and ours is a mountain.

I think one of the best things to do is offer your condolences without saying you understand, because you don't. You can't possibly understand the sheer unimaginable terror that runs through our heads and drives many of us to suicide.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about a year ago | (#44027939)

Reminds me of a discussion I had some time back, with a friend who tossed out the whole spiel on how suicide is cowardly and selfish, and that it's basically a conscious lack of will. Oddly enough their theory is slow in catching on among mental healthcare professionals and neurologists.

Yeah, it's heartbreaking when a friend has this anxiety thing. Can't reason them out of the lows, just have to be there for them. Oddly enough gaming is one of the ways a friend of mine deals with this stuff.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (2)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#44028169)

Suicide definitely isn't cowardly or selfish. In fact, it's incredibly hard to actually go through with. Is it a defense to try to guilt these people into not killing themselves? It's a shame really, guilt is one of the feelings that can lead them to suicide.

Your insistence to be there for your friend is a greatly admired and definitely a wonderful thing. Your friend is lucky to have someone like you.

Even for my friends there's nothing I can do even though I understand what they're going through. Being supportive is really all you can do.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Servaas (1050156) | about a year ago | (#44027993)

Or maybe you are just overreacting and should just get over yourself. Who knows?

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year ago | (#44028085)

I can just get rid of it by thinking really hard?

Oh boy I wish I thought of that!

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

Servaas (1050156) | about a year ago | (#44028383)

You are welcome sir.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | about a year ago | (#44028597)

I can just get rid of it by thinking really hard?

Oh boy I wish I thought of that!

Heh, that Onion story was pretty good.

I have pretty strong anxiety as well. Agoraphobia is my most annoying development from that. I had to abandon my original career choice as my stress ramped up and I just couldn't get to the job anymore.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44028307)

I had a very bad day recently. Nothing special happened to me, it was just one of those days where you run out of strength to keep yourself together.

I sat down and wrote some text that took me almost 5 hours to write - detailing my experiences with SA. I thought of posting it anonymously somewhere but anxiety took over and I didn't. I'll bite the bullet this time.

Here's an excerpt:

I went to get a university degree, left home and started living as a student. Without my parents or any friends I was left completely on my own. The new city I moved to was larger and it's streets more crowded. I had no way to avoid people now and anxiety was a constant every time I left my student home. I could no longer go into shops or restaurants or school for that matter without experiencing fear. The terror that was once limited to passing people on the street was seeping into all other aspects of my life.

It's hard to explain the intense fear but imagine you have been detained and sentenced to death by a firing squad. They come for you in your cell and are now dragging you to get shot. That's the anxiety mixed with anticipation of what will or might happen next. It's the moments before social interaction. Then they put you in front of men with guns pointing at you. If you can imagine that fear, that's the fear I felt. Or if you fear heights. It's being held over a brim of a cliff and being thrown over it.

At that point your mind is like a swarm of bees. So noisy. You feel like you're in mortal danger and all you can think of is get out. Your mind is racing to find a way to run, but there is no escape. If you move, if you run - they'll shoot you - and in the real world you'll embarrass yourself even more, looking like a lunatic (Don't lose control!). But your mind doesn't accept that answer and doesn't want to give up, you see there has to be a solution to this problem and being that the danger is eminent, finding the solution is most urgent. You are buzzing with countless thoughts that aren't discernible, it's like running full speed in empty gear.

Then there are the physical changes. Blurred vision, uneasiness, feeling like you'll faint. Blood leaves your extremities and you become even more pale than usual. You feel extremely vulnerable.

Overwhelmed with this you need to find the strength to hold back the instinct to run and form coherent thoughts through all that noise to deal with what ever social situation you got yourself into. Often it's hard o not simply shutdown.

There were good days where I had enough strength to carry me through the day, then there were the bad days. I ran out of food one day and would have to go to the supermarket. I dreaded it so much I stayed in my room for the whole day. Starving. It wasn't an isolated occurrence.

To explain, going to the shop wasn't a problem - assuming I wouldn't meet anyone on the way, which might be possible considering it was 50 meters away at most. Interacting with the cashier and possibly other personnel was the terrifying part.

The constant anxiety becomes unbearable. To the point where you start to fear fear itself. You feel anxiety over feeling anxiety in a future circumstance. And what happens often is you start avoiding situations that repeatedly lead you to feel anxiety.

You build this prison for yourself. Meeting people makes you feel anxious? Not going to meet people anymore. Going shopping strikes fear into you, yeah who needs it anyway. School, doctor's appointments, visiting your professors at office hours, phone calls, going to the bank to pay your bills... Yeah. Pretty soon the only place you feel comfortable anymore is a dark corner in your room.

Then there's the depression. Anxiety never comes alone. It's followed by an equal measure of depression. When social interaction becomes something you fear the most you deprive yourself of the outside world as much as you can. That leads to depression. You realize just how broken you are. What comes easy to others to the point that they don't even give it a thought - can take sometimes days of mental preparation for you. Suicidal thoughts are a daily occurrence.

The rest is not important...

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year ago | (#44031711)

Are you on any sort of treatment for your social anxiety? You don't mention it in your text. If not, why not?

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44037455)

I'm not getting any treatment.

Our family has had bad experience with drugs for mental illnesses - improper doses sent my mom to a mental institution three times in a span of three years. Schizophrenia is a lot of fun too. I'm not a fan of medication, it can mess you up and can often cause addiction. Being a mental patient also still comes with a stigma and in a small town word gets around quickly. I thought I'd just tough it out. One of my "feel better" phrases is that this is an opportunity to become the bravest person in the world.

Unless I know exactly what I want and where it is in the store on the shelf - so I can go in and out quickly - I find it's very difficult to go shopping. It's easier if there's someone I trust with me. I don't think I can get myself to go to a doctor. I haven't seen a dentist in probably 10 years, I have had the problem for about 12 now. It's hard to talk about this and ask for help. It sounds crazy and fictitious to me when I say it out loud, how made up or insignificant does it have to sound to people who don't have it?

Especially since I try to "save face" and if asked attribute my cringing to "bad mood". Sounds better than telling them I'm fighting a panic attack because we're about to do something as scary as going into a store or because I'm being pushed to attend a birthday dinner with people I barely know.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year ago | (#44041297)

Fuck the haters.

This is a phrase you should repeat to yourself. If someone can't understand your mental issues, and doesn't give you an ounce of compassion, they're simply not worth your time or consideration. There are, unfortunately, a lot of such people in the world. There are also a lot of people who DO care. When you're depressed, the latter group can tend to fade completely into the former.

Get yourself to a doctor. Get family to help if you can. Even if you find that drugs do not help -- and while I understand that your mother had a serious problem with them in the past -- they're probably not going to immediately send you to a mental institution. If you do get a prescription, do some due diligence yourself. The internet is full of information that was previously only available to doctors. This is why, when a family member was prescribed Paxil a few years ago, I urged caution and told them to be on the lookout for the feeling of "electricity", because it was part of a well-known terrible side effect and withdrawal effect. It's a good thing, too, because they encountered this, so we worked to get them off of the drug and onto something different.

The antidepressants I have experience with were quite low dose, but we still did have to try a couple before we found one that worked with a minimum of side effects. Any good doctor would know this and work with you. If you get a doctor that doesn't schedule a follow-up visit in 30 days after prescribing you an antidepressant / antianxiety medication, find another doctor.

Even if you're not prescribed a medication, having someone to talk to would be beneficial by itself. This is not something you should have to go alone. You (likely) have a problem with your brain chemistry. The reason that it seems easy for everyone else is that they DON'T have a problem with their brain chemistry; it IS easier for them. That's NOT your fault.

Becoming brave is a noble goal, but you should embrace the idea that this is a medical condition that needs treatment. If other people disagree and think you can just "power through it", fuck em. They don't get it, and probably never will.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

gent01 (1005535) | about a year ago | (#44034183)

I don't have any points. more people vote this up please so the rest of us who don't know much about this can be informed.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44028761)

It sounds like you have severe social anxiety and a general rather than specific type.

I just had my first visit with a therapist last week and his early diagnosis is that that I have mild to moderate specific social anxiety. It took me awhile to realize that I did have a problem and it wasn't until I realized the BS excuses I was making in order to not go after a job position in another state that made me dig into the cause and reason as to what was happening and ultimately seek out a therapist to see.

Fortunately, I do fine whenever I'm in a business setting. I'm also mostly fine being out and around people as long as I have some other task on which to focus. I only have problems when I seek or want to establish new personal relationships, whether this be friends or intimate relationships with women. I just never realized it because it was just the latter that I kept experiencing and had just chalked it up as me being introverted, shy, and nervous rather than any sort of anxiety. I should have realized that it was a problem whenever I felt like I was on the verge of panic when making any approaches. As I said, mine's only probably mild to moderate and it's not general SA so I can function in the world at large without issue but though thought of experiencing that panic constantly makes me shudder. The worst part is how long it took me to realize there was a problem. I was so adept at avoiding a situation by coming up with reasons that sounded very rational. It wasn't until I noticed that I threw myself a bogus reason that the problem existed.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44028839)

Been there so I fully empathise. SSRIs alone are pretty much useless. What worked for me was a combination of those and CBT. I'm still not perfect, but in a much better place than I used to in me teens, when my life was completely miserable. I'm in a relationship now with an amazing woman, something I would have thought to be impossible a few years ago. Good luck.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (3)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year ago | (#44030405)

You can't possibly understand the sheer unimaginable terror that runs through our heads and drives many of us to suicide.

For all the doubters, social anxiety is not a result of emotional weakness. It is a PHYSICAL problem, just like a limp is the result of a sprained ankle. Sure you can walk on it if you have to, but the pain is terrible. We are just starting to put all the pieces together, but it is conclusive that a lack of the neuro-chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine play a direct roll. Your body naturally lowers these chemicals when you are in a life or death situation, such as when a tiger jumps out of the bush, or someone tries to kill you with an axe. It may take days or weeks for your body to re-adjust back to normal levels. Imagine living in that state all your life. Imagine knowing that being around strangers will lower your chemicals even more, just like a pouncing tiger would.

Many people use drugs, alcohol, over eating, or even video games to help raise their dopamine. It gives you a sense of wellbeing, and can be addictive. For people with physically lower levels of dopamine, they can help bring you back up out of the abyss, if only temporarily. With proper medication to stabilize your neuro-chemicals at a level closer to "normal," an anxiety sufferer can eventually re-acclimate themselves to being with strangers. Just being able to go to the grocery store, sit in a restaurant, walk in the park without panicking can massively change your quality of life. This does not mean that you want to go out to parties or crowded bars. Those things are not necessary for a decent quality of life.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44032379)

After reading all the replies to your heartfelt comment, it makes me really wonder who thought the internet was the place for seeing 'positive interpersonal communication'. It seems like there are a lot of people who's primary goal is to shit all over people to make themselves feel better.

From my experience, the gaming 'communities' that exist now are even worse, it's mostly just a giant dick measuring contest with no winners, only a bunch of losers.

The internet can be an amazing tool to connect people in a very productive and helpful way, but I don't think just hopping online to play games with the angry unfulfilled masses is the way to do it.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44033865)

If you call it social anxiety disorder the acronym becomes SAD.

Re: Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44035417)

Well said. I've had the same problem all my life. There are mountains everywhere I turn. I've managed one step at a time one mountain at a time. Now I have a masters inin computer science and I work in multimillion dollar projects. The mountains are a little smaller now but they're still there. Funny thing is, gaming helped me alot. Not to escape but to realise that i could do it. My son unfortunately has inherited my genes. He sometimes can't get out of the house because he's so anxious. He gets so bad he can't even game. But gaming helps Âand often builds his confidence enough to conquer the biggest mountains. Niether gaming, pill, therapy nor support will help on its own but a little of this and a little of that helps. I think I'm proof of that. Hopefully I can help my son be "normal" like everyone else. Everyone has a load to carry. Ours is just different If you don't understand what debilatating anxiety is then so be it. Just try not to be a contributor to the problem. Besides, how can anyone argue against gaming!?

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027465)

And MAYBE assholes like you are why people are afraid to leave their homes.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027577)

No, everyone knows trolls and internet-assholes never leave the basement. People are afraid to leave their homes because of terrorists.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027739)

Terrorists? What terrorists?
Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are already dead, the world is now a better and safer place.

Mission Accomplished.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (0)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44027675)

And MAYBE assholes like you are why people are afraid to leave their homes.

And MAYBE certain people on slashdot need a goddamn funny bone transplant.

JESUS. FUCKING. CHRIST.

"oh no but this is a serious affliction that affects millio..." BZZZZT!!!

These days it seems you're not a full-fledged member of society until you've chosen your particular brand of victimhood.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | about a year ago | (#44027771)

These days it seems you're not a full-fledged member of society until you've chosen your particular brand of victimhood.

I feel normal. That makes me anxious that I'm different from everyone else.

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

unitron (5733) | about a year ago | (#44037085)

These days it seems you're not a full-fledged member of society until you've chosen your particular brand of victimhood.

I feel normal. That makes me anxious that I'm different from everyone else.

You are.

Everyone else would have incorrectly said "different than".

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

Linkreincarnate (840046) | about a year ago | (#44031591)

You are a monster. You are what's wrong with the world. Foster kids don't have problems because they are genetically deficient. They have problems because they had shitty(or dead) parents, the system that is supposed to take care of them does a poor job and exposes them to even more abuse. To top it off they are made outcasts by their peers because they don't have a traditional family. You think they should just die off though huh?

Re:Reminds me of a bit from Louis CK (1)

unitron (5733) | about a year ago | (#44037059)

"But MAYBE if they have so much trouble socializing as part of a highly social species, they should be ignored and allowed to die out."

Yeah, it's not like they'll cause any trouble before that or take any of us with them when they go.

Mental health and games consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027289)

AARGGH! I think I'm being watched all the time!

You are... you've got an XBone.

COD for all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027305)

Call of Duty already does that... look at all the 12 year olds screaming "$%&$/#$" %$#&/%$%$"#"

Ugly avatar is ugly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027357)

God, I spent ~5 secs on their site and I already hate their computer screen-ish avatar. What the f*ck? Is this supposed to be attractive to anxious people? It gives me the creeps... Like "I feel so weak, kick my computer butt." It's not comforting at all!

Oh oh. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44027367)

I'm too bashful to go play with these guys. Now what do I do?

Re:Oh oh. (1)

unitron (5733) | about a year ago | (#44037089)

I'm too bashful to go play with these guys. Now what do I do?

Start your own company catering to those with your problem. Get stinking rich.

www.alltimenews.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027385)

alltimenews.com is the Bangladeshi online news paper which published from Dhaka, Bangladesh

"positival" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027403)

Positival?

Of all the types of communication I've had through an online game, positival is the word farthest from the reality.

I think it can be boiled down to... (2, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year ago | (#44027449)

"Give kids toys and they're happier for 5 minutes".

But I'm afraid that kids who have deep seating anxiety or other mental health issues need help thats a bit deeper than this well meaning but rather naive approach.

Re:I think it can be boiled down to... (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#44027611)

"Give kids toys and they're happier for 5 minutes".

"But teach kids how to masturbate, and they'll be happy for a lifetime!"

Re:I think it can be boiled down to... (1)

Millennium (2451) | about a year ago | (#44027827)

Yeah, I've got to say; there's nothing wrong with a little escapism, but as a mode of therapy I don't think this is going to end well at all.

Games don't make people go nuts. Every minute spent gaming is a minute spent not seeking help, but that can be said for all sorts of activities, and gaming is no more harmful than any of those. But it doesn't help either; that much is becoming clearer with every study. We still don't understand exactly why online interactions can't substitute for real, interpersonal, face-to-face interaction, but that they can't do this is becoming clearer every day. Maybe they lack some currently-unknown aspect of communication that turns out to be vital to the human psyche. Or maybe they impose some kind of psychological barrier that prevents genuine connections from forming. We don't understand the phenomenon well enough right now. But GIFT is alive and well, and plain enough for anyone to see.

Re:I think it can be boiled down to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44028071)

We still don't understand exactly why online interactions can't substitute for real

You sure about this? To me the answer is as clear as the summer sun. The human brain is a mixed result of nature and nurture. Text on a screen lacks the nuance of tone, volume and gesture. Text on a screen is open to much more interpretation since a lot of what we've been hardwired to use as communication with our fellow human is left out of the equation. While it's a pretty involved subject the answer to the question is simple. Even in reading this you can't tell what emotion I'm trying to convey. That leads to confusion and misrepresentation. Someone who is already given to the disposition that people generally are angry may read this and think that I'm angry with you. Others who are a bit more even in keel may read it as trying to pass along information or even sympathetic with the question at hand. People who are more "sensitive" are going to take it personally when there is nothing to be taken personally. There's no way for you to tell even with the current attempts such as emoticons and text formatting.

Keys on a keyboard cannot make communication as clear as a simple look on another's face. This is our nature and this is a fundamental problem we have mostly overlooked. While the advancement of communication through these devices has tons to offer it's not the future that science fiction writers hoped for... but in our minds we still try to see it as such. It's kind of like forcing a square peg into a round hole. We're trying to ignore the limitations of the best technology we can produce for the masses.

Re:I think it can be boiled down to... (1)

Millennium (2451) | about a year ago | (#44033137)

Certainly it's a problem that text doesn't convey as much information as voice or video, but I'm forced to wonder if that's really the problem. Ten minutes on XBox Live would be enough to convince a lot of people that voice chat, despite conveying more information than text, actually made the situation worse. Currently many people prefer video chat to either text or voice, but there's still not much evidence that it has really been helping matters. That leads me to think that whatever this fundamental disconnect is, it's not based on how much information can be gleaned.

Online Gaming for Learning to Socialize? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027605)

I'd rather not have people's introduction to civil discourse be attributed to online gaming.
I mean seriously, you'd have to be a complete f*ckin' noob not to understand that.

sounds reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44027663)

this could work. if you're a reclusive shut in, the cure could very well be getting called a fag by thousands of 13 year olds. Sort of like curing arachnophobia by pouring spiders on you.

Re:sounds reasonable (2)

Shemmie (909181) | about a year ago | (#44027875)

This, basically.

As someone with anxiety issues, online FORUMS are fantastic, as they allow for shared discussion. I'll be damned how the gaming community, not known for there most sympathetic nature as a whole, would help in these situations.

I'm reminded of that all-time great, http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19 [penny-arcade.com]

Re:sounds reasonable (1)

fazig (2909523) | about a year ago | (#44028345)

It strongly depends on the game.
Take a first person shooter, where the gameplay is most linear, only competitive and least creative you will have a very unpleasant community. Now take a game like EVE Online, which has a more non linear gameplay and allows more creative gameplay and you will have a diverse community. There will be disagreeable personalities in these games but also plenty of helpful and friendly players and to some extend you choose to associate with the player type you like. This game doesn't foster instant action, fast paced and aggressive gameplay for impatient players but rather fosters the more patient and willing to learn player type. The economy simulation basis of the game also rewards cooperation between players a lot. Where you have to learn to trust your peers to a certain extend and communicate with them because achieving everything alone is very hard or even impossible.

I can see therapeutic value in games like these. Well, perhaps not EVE Online per se, since it has been known to make some people paranoid :).

Re:sounds reasonable (1)

Servaas (1050156) | about a year ago | (#44028039)

I love the people on game shows that tell you their afraid of spiders then proceed to be, like you said lowered down into a bath of them. You weren't really scared of them were you if you do that?

Re:sounds reasonable (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#44028203)

I used to teach English as a Second Language, and that post would have been sent back with red marker all over it . . .

Stop it while you can. (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44028401)

As someone who could have used a hand when I was younger, and now suffers from a 'spectrum' of disorders, I can tell you a little can go a long way. Maintenance is the only problem, that is, some form of continuing support but in the long run, catching something early on and giving a hand out to someone on the verge of breaking down can probably pull a good number of them back.

There are large numbers of issues our species is coming to terms with in our online existence. The world is now becoming our community. The problem is no one agrees on anything on a good day. Bad days, well... out come the knives, needles, fetishes and all manner of other coping mechanisms the 'healthy' folk seem to enjoy.

The first thing I thought as a teenager with depression was: "I'm crazy. Yeah that's it. There's gotta be something wrong with me. Look around, everyone else is doing fine!"

Critique of the self was a big thing for me. Also a big tell. HINT HINT.

Another question pops up after a while of the ever growing mental abscess that is anxiety/depression. "I need some help! It's hurts like all hell to live this way and I want someone to help me! Where can I find it!?"

Back in my day... yeah, no. Different by proxy of living in constant neuro-chemically controlled fear and being an introverted nerd to boot? I hopefully don't have to tell the story of how well help from peers, guardians, mentors and physicians was back before the golden age of 'we have an anti-depressant and a great new therapy for that!'

What the hell, I'll tell it anyway!

There was no real help.

And so it grew as I did, voracious and vicarious, making every day a funeral and every night the wake. Some times I'd stop suddenly whatever it was that I was doing and this would come to mind: Is it me that died? My first friend had it too, and she killed herself last year. Was this rain for her... or was it for me?

This is the horror of anxiety/depression. It's relentless mental anguish that if made a distributable weapon would be considered beyond inhumane to whomever had the bad luck of having it inflicted upon them. It doesn't go away, and even in our modern age of mass produced pharmaceutical wonders, it never gets better. We can only make it less, and hope everyday it never becomes more.

Catch it early.

Donate consoles, money, or other physical goods. If you're comfortable with interpersonal interaction join peer groups, outreach programs, volunteer activities. FFS some of you are pretty damn smart people. Become the forward thinkers in the fields relevant to psychology, sociology, philosophy and anthropology. Throw a tech slant on it, do what hasn't been done.

As the young man I once was, I may never have know how bad it could have gotten had I had your help. As the old man I am now, I can only wonder what it would have been like to have had a friend grow old with me instead of one forever in the grave.

Re:Stop it while you can. (2)

DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) | about a year ago | (#44030421)

What I have discovered is that when you are anxious, your body is wired to self-destruct.
I find as one grows older, the physical side effects get worse. When you are young and anxious/depressed, you might be catatonic, you might not sleep well, but you bounce back. When you get older, now you've got things like constant IBS, nevermind the lack of sleep catches up with you. In short, a vicious circle. As we know now too, such illnesses can fuck up everything from how the body processes fat, releases insulin, to even changes in brain structure (increased amygdala, shrunken hippocampus.. fortunately what I was taught is that this can heal with time).

I too try to approach it from the technical standpoint. The science is pretty clear these days, it takes away the ability of people to point fingers and blame once you really know what's going on. I think both that and the subjective are needed though, not everyone thinks the same.

Actual Anxiety Gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44028415)

There are several actual games and apps on the market that are actually meant to help with anxiety and depression--some have even been through clinical trials. For example, there is a video game called SPARX, which is about to be released in the United States and Canada by LinkedWellness (http://www.linkedWellness.com) which is specifically aimed at teaching people how to better cope.

sure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44029393)

I for one, welcome our new medicinal gaming overlords! Get on this game devs. Wouldn't you like to be doctor, writing your own prescriptions?

Mental Health turns people into Creationists (2)

DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) | about a year ago | (#44030229)

Despite volumes of information on how things like depression and anxiety are both physical and mental, sometimes inheritable, linked to genes that regulate serotonin, linked to biological (hormonal eg glucocorticoid) markers, and have drastic physical consequences on the body in terms of elevated stress responses that affect a manifold of parasympathetic CNS responses, and with that increased risk of major illnesses, despite all the information in the world detailing how it is real, you'll still find lots of people who claim it isn't, or that people are just making it up to be victims. They don't get that the brain is a physical thing, and what happens to it affects YOU, everything you do, your decisions, emotions, etc. It's almost like they are naive dualists who don't know they are espousing dualism.
I mean the top rated posts in this thread are great, but you know the types, the ones who give out terrible and useless advice. It's ironic how mental health issues turn ordinary people who claim to like science into much the same as creationists: utilizing straw men, attacking caricatures of real science, doing anything but addressing the real issues the science brings up.
And yes, as others have hinted, one can be incredibly intelligent, productive, one can be anything really, and still fall victim to it. /end rant

Re:Mental Health turns people into Creationists (1)

ThreeKelvin (2024342) | about a year ago | (#44031877)

Mis-modded. (Sorry)

cheap jordan shoes,Air max shoes,Jeans sale (1)

lakkago (2956711) | about a year ago | (#44048263)

YOU MUST NOT MISS IT! The website cheap wholesale and retail for many kinds of fashion shoes, like the nike,jordan, also including the handbags,sunglasses,jeans,shirts,hat,belt and the watch, All the products are free shipping, and the price is competitive, after the payment, can ship within short time. the goods are shipping by air express, such as EMS,DHL,the shipping time is in 5-7 business days! http://www.sport3trade.net/ [sport3trade.net] cheap jordan for $40, Air Max 90 for $41, air shox for $40, best handbags for $39, Sunglasses for $18, wallet for $19, belt for $18, T-shirts for $20, Jeans for $39, NFL/MLB/NBA jersey for $25, Top Rolex watch,jordan for cheap, http://www.sport3trade.net/ [sport3trade.net]
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?