Video games for mental health: clinician guides
iThrive’s Clinician Guides were developed to leverage video games for mental health. Our guides are an educational resource for mental health professionals who use or want to use video games in treatment as a way to engage teens on their terms. It’s impossible to be knowledgeable about every game a client is playing but savvy clinicians understand the importance of using clients’ passion to pursue treatment goals. In order to help clinicians working with teen clients for whom games are important, we created a series of one-page information sheets about popular commercial games that can inform therapeutic discussion and, more importantly, demonstrate genuine interest and support for the client.
Our Clinician Guides were created by mental health professionals who are familiar with the video games and have used them in therapeutic settings, and each guide is reviewed by a licensed mental health professional.
To suggest additions for an iThrive Clinician Guide, contact us.
Destiny is an online multiplayer first-person shooter that takes place in a futuristic and mystical science fiction world. Players take on the role of Guardians and are charged with protecting the last safe city on Earth from an alien threat. Players inhabit a shared online world populated by other players as well as computer-generated characters. In-game activities include both cooperative and competitive elements.
Fortnite consists of two games: Save the World (a cooperative-against-AI game) and Battle Royale (a free-to-play Last Person Standing game). Battle Royale is by far the more popular mode which primarily consists of 100 players competing alone, in pairs, or small squads to become the last one alive on the map.
Overwatch is a team-based online shooter with around 30 unique heroes to play. Players can play with random people, form teams, or even compete professionally if their skill is high enough. It is also one of the first eSport games to have a championship broadcast live on ESPN.
Mario Kart is a series of racing games created by Nintendo. The game can be played solo and have players race against NPCs, but it is most often used as an in-person multiplayer game. Players race around hazard-strewn tracks and have the opportunity to pick up and deploy additional hazards to make the race more challenging and competitively balanced.
Minecraft is a sandbox open world game that offers a variety of play modes including survival, creative, adventure, and hardcore. Players can play alone or with others online. Although goals vary based on mode, general gameplay involves mining different materials in the environment to build structures and craft tools.
AGE: 10 – 16+