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Stories that Haunt and Heal: Mental Health and Game Narrative

Jean Leggett  (CEO, One More Story Games)

Jessica Fong  (Co-founder and Creative Director, Lonely Egg Studio)

Gabriella Lowgren  (Communications Manager, Infinity+2)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 18

Time: 1:20 pm - 1:50 pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Summits - Get your pass now!

Topic: Game Narrative Summit

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

Serious topics such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sexual Trauma, Disordered Eating and Mental Illness are being increasingly explored through game narrative.

In this session, Jean Leggett covers Charlaine Harris' 'Lily Bard Mysteries: The Body in the Park', and how the 2D mystery game was designed to mindfully explore PTSD from sexual trauma. Ella Lowgren discusses 'Shrinking Pains', a semi-autobiographical visual novel, and how it fosters empathy and understanding for sufferers of anxiety and eating disorders. Jessica Fong shares the development of her upcoming game 'In the Keeper's Shadow', a surreal 2D hand-painted adventure that reimagines her ongoing struggle to overcome the trauma of child abuse.


Attendees will have have a deeper understanding of how games can explore sensitive subject material in the mental health space, the benefits that the medium of games offers this material, as well as concrete suggestions on approaches to creating sensitive content in a respectful way.

Intended Audience

This talk is for attendees who are interested in the rising area of serious games; educating creatives on narrative design and responsible depictions of mental health, sexual trauma, and domestic abuse.