Further Reading

An inexhaustive list of further reading and playing. This is more 'what I've been reading' than 'here's your reading list this term,' for what that's worth. Feel free to add suggestions for further texts in the comments.

Books and Magazines (most links are to Waterstones)

Man, Play and Games (Roger Caillois) I'm sure that there are newer and more accessible texts on the theory of play but to my knowledge Caillois was the first to properly attempt to systematise games into a structure one could then analyse. I'm including it here mainly because it's one of the few theory of gaming texts I've read - I don't really intend to go too far into the design theory in my analysis because I'm more interested in sociology, but a grounding in the concepts is useful for when we want to take the mechanics apart a little bit.

Madness and Civilisation (Michel Foucault) It's Foucault, so you know, if you already have an opinion on him nothing I say is going to change it. If you don't then you may find a primer to be a useful start. I think he's great.

Media Madness (Otto Wahl) This is an academic title, so it may be expensive and hard to find, but it is clearly and passionately written. Wahl picks through the media landscape (although focussing on Film and TV) showing both how depictions of mental illness are very often inaccurate and why this is a problem. I can't recommend it enough.

DSM-5 The latest edition of the standard diagnostic manual. Even the existence of such a manual is  controversial in some quarters, but nevertheless it has defined the course of modern psychiatry and is of great practical significance. For my money it is best approached in the same way you ought to approach a dictionary; as a shared point of understanding and a tool for getting a handle on concepts rather than a rigid system of definition. While the whole thing isn't available online you can usually find the diagnostic criteria for any particular disorder, for want of a better word, floating about the internet.

Madness Explained (Richard P. Bentall) A dense but thorough deconstruction of the intellectual path that led to artefacts like the DSM as well as a compelling argument that these artefacts hinder further understanding in both psychology and psychiatry. Notably Bentall is arguing for a paradigm shift within the two sciences rather than advocating the sort of anti-psychiatry espoused by R.D. Laing and Thomas Szasz.

Five out of Ten is a games criticism magazine which, with an emphasis on personal accounts of relationships with gaming, has published a number of articles that discuss mental health issues and how they intersect with play. Of particular note are Brendan Keogh on eating disorders in issue 1, Jordan Erica Webber on Asperger's in issue 3 and Samantha Allen's articles in issue 4 which touch on gender dysphoria as part of the lived experience of being trans.

The Arcade Review is a games criticism magazine focusing on independent games and artistic analysis. Line Hollis' article on 'Groundhog Day' games and depression in issue 1 is a brilliant read.

Blogs and Blog Posts

Mind Hacks and Neuroskeptic are both good ways of keeping abreast with Psychology and Neuroscience research and writing without necessarily needing to be an academic.

Mental Health Cop is an incredible resource for understanding the intersection of policing and mental illness in Britain.

Under the Mask is written by a clinical psychologist and comic fan. She posts mainly about comic and film representations of mental illness and PTSD with an insider's view of both. She is also Batgirl's psychologist.

The Psychology of Games

Critical Distance runs a weekly round-up of videogame blogging.

Memory Insufficient is a history of gaming e-zine. Issue 7 on disability will be of particular interest to readers of this blog.

The Orts on Depression Quest

Phil Owen on games that reflect his own suicidal ideation.

Low Fat Gaming on depression, gaming and community.

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