Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Gayming Podcast – Episode 15 with special guests Safe In Our World

The Gayming Podcast Episode 15 has dropped and is another fun episode of gaymer gossip and positive messages about mental health.

At the top of the episode I’m joined by Gayming contributor, Ed Nightingale, and everyone’s favourite streamer Mia S to review games we’ve played and stories we’ve read. Later, in the show I’m joined by my special guests Imogen Beresford-Bone and Gareth Williams from games industry mental health charity Safe In Our World to talk about the charity’s work and their new #LevelUpMentalHealth campaign.

What’s In Your Slot

As is becoming the norm now on The Gayming Podcast, we began our What’s In Your Slot segment with an Animal Crossing update. Ed said what we were all thinking… we’re bored of Animal Crossing. They don’t seem to be getting their events right. They’re either massive moments like Bunny Day which interfere too much with daily life, or they’re tiny and inconsequential like the current Museum Day stamp collecting. This led Mia on to talk about the ethics of time travel in Animal Crossing and how this is the only way to have fun with the game. If we’re not into playing it properly any more, why not time travel and have fun getting big projects done?!

I moved the conversation on to talk about the games I’ve been playing which included the newly released Minecraft Dungeons. This is a really fun dungeon crawler in the Minecraft world style. But, it’s too easy, and we talked about some cool ways it could be improved. I also talked about my new obsession which is What The Golf! The golf game for people who hate golf!

Ed has been playing Final Fantasy 6 and absolutely loving it, and also he just finished NieR: Automata. He loved the concept of NieR: Automata but it did leave him feeling underwhelmed. This brought us on to the topic of side quests in games, specifically there are too damn many of them! Particularly, if said side quests have no relevance to the narrative such as litter picking, fishing and other fun examples.

Mia meanwhile has been playing Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Crucible, the debut game from Amazon Studios. Crucible is Overwatch meets Apex via Fortnite, and Mia found it a bit of an anticlimax for such a big company’s first game. Talking about Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Mia reported she had completed it and had questions… many questions! Particularly regarding the ending which she didn’t like, and neither did Ed. They talked at length about their reasons, see if you agree!

Gayming News

Further into the episode, we talked about what we’ve been reading on Gayming Magazine recently.

Ed read the news about the arrival of a new Harry Potter game and was super excited… right up to the point of realising its a match 3 game! We then spoke about the frustrations of such a cheap opt-out while devising our own awesome Harry Potter game… think Darksouls does Hogwarts!

Mia talked about the Safe In Our World article that came out recently marking the launch of their #LevelUpMentalHealth campaign. This fed nicely into our special guest segment later in the show, but it opened up a nice conversation about the positive move of bringing more mental health awareness into games and game making. Knowing that your game has been ethically made is becoming more and more popular.

Finally, I used this opportunity to plug DIGIPRIDE which starts on 1 June across Gayming Magazine and lasts for three whole months! That’s three months of Pride-related content, articles, reviews, interviews and some big event moments along the way. I listed out some of our big highlights but you can read them all here.

Special Guest

To round off the podcast, I was joined by my special guests for this episode, Imogen Beresford-Bone and Gareth Williams from games industry mental health charity Safe In Our World to talk about the charity’s work and their new #LevelUpMentalHealth campaign.

We spoke to begin with about the history of the charity and where the idea for it came from. Gareth explained that Safe In Our World aims to raise awareness of mental health and also affect positive change within the games industry. Positive change in the industry reflects outwards to the players. Safe In Our World provide training, resources and advice for professionals and players. He went to explain that in 2017 Wired Productions published a game called Town of Light which dealt with some mental health issues and he was working on the PR of the game, and a group of people were struck by the story and realised that they could do more.

Imogen went on to talk about why mental health in gaming is important, including how games are a truly interactive form of entertainment which provides an amazing platform and opportunity to drive positive messages and awareness of mental health issues.

We talked more about the #LevelUpMentalHealth campaign which seeks to challenge the video games industry to unite and commit to positive change, starting with workplaces, ensuring working environments are always safe and supportive of the mental health of its talent. Gareth talked about the amazing response from the industry to date from the campaign which really bodes well for mental health work in the industry.

We chatted more then about the bad examples of working environments, such as crunch, and ways in which Safe In Our World are helping push back on this including all their advice posters, and encouraging people to talk. Their website also signposts people in crisis to their local talking therapy service.

The conversation moved on to the specific impact of mental health issues on the LGBTQ community in the video games industry where the recent Ukie Diversity Census showed that there is a higher than average amount of LGBTQ people reporting suffering from mental health issues. Safe In Our World has a dedicated page on their website with advice designed to support LGBTQ workers.

We finished by talking about games that are good for our mental health including Imogen’s recommendation of Animal Crossing and Gareth’s recommendation of anything on Xbox Game Pass because there are so many awesome games on there you might not buy but are hidden gems!

You can find out more about Safe In Our World by visiting their website or following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Listen to the full episode below, as well as on Spotify, Stitcher and Apple Podcasts. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!

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