I just got my t-shirts in the mail! They say "I'm a MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL and I play VIDEO GAMES."
I'll proudly be wearing these at New York Comic Con all weekend, where you'll most likely find me at booth #342. The plan is to talk to people about how we can all use Geek culture to save the world. Part of that includes talking about video games.
Fellow Geek Therapist Steve Kuniak has this idea for a Gamer wellness program based in part on his research into gaming culture, his experience and education as a licensed counselor, and his life of geekdom. It was his idea to have a booth at NYCC and he invited Geek Therapy along for the ride.
Come by the booth and talk with us about how we use geeky things in our work and how others are doing it. We'll have some books and other information available and we'll be around all weekend to talk and share ideas.
Going back to the t-shirt: I do play video games. Some of my earliest memories - and perhaps the earliest - include playing video games with my parents. Both of them. My mom loves puzzle games and we would play Tetris for hours. My dad was the one that brought home new consoles and games. We would go to the arcade every Sunday after church. I remember him coming home on "Mortal Monday" and surprising me with a copy of Mortal Kombat because it was a game we played together at the arcade. And I still play today. I beat Injustice's story mode last week, still playing GTA V, and hoping to start 'Beyond: Two Souls' before NYCC. (Also, that's my Mii up there asking you to visit booth 342. 3DS streetpassers will get that greeting all weekend from me.)
So I'm not the only mental health professional that plays video games. I won't even be the only one at booth #342! As mental health professionals, we have the opportunity to advocate for a healthy and positive view of video games and gaming but we also have a responsibility to address the negative issues. We've got a lot to say so come talk to us. We've chosen to spend NYCC this year having important conversations that don't usually take place at conventions. We're hoping to change that.
P.S.: I also got a t-shirt that says "I'm a MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL and I READ COMICS." There will be a lot of comic book talk at our booth too. We'll have plenty of resources related to not only comic books but also Geek and Pop culture and more. A few special guests may also stop by.