Are movies and video games good for us? A popular opinion is: No. Many reasons are thrown around: They're too violent or full of negative experiences. They're distracting from real life. They're time-wasters. They're too addictive. In reaction to these opinions, people try to cut back their media intake using a diet mindset. People count … Continue reading Counting Media-Calories: Entertainment and Dieting
The film Call Me By Your Name, adapted from the novel of the same name, is a movie that can tease a variety of feelings out of us. This film is about the summer of '83 and a burgeoning relationship between a boy named Elio and a graduate student named Oliver. It's set in the … Continue reading Call Me By Your Name: Coming of Age
Mental Health is not a destination. It is not even a state of being. It is an activity. It is the activity of tending our minds. If our minds are gardens - organic plots that sprout thoughts like plants and attitudes or beliefs like ecosystems - mental health would be the activity of gardening. It … Continue reading Your Mind is a Garden. Mental Health, Gardening.
Sometimes when we get home from a long or stressful day we just want to watch that movie again. It's simple, fun, relaxing, and calming somehow. We've seen this movie probably 50 times, but we still want to see it again. We might just want it playing in the background as we browse our phones … Continue reading Why Do You Re-Watch Movies?
How Games Can Help Us Embrace Failure and Develop Growth Mindsets Note: This is a preview of an article I wrote for Take This, a non-profit charity that is dedicated to reducing the stigma around mental health issues with a focus on geek culture. Check out their blog for tons of helpful articles! How Mindful … Continue reading Growth Mindsets and Gaming
There is a growing "genre" in Japan referred to as the "Iyashikei" (癒し系) genre. "Iyashi" has a few meanings: soothing, comforting, solace, therapeutic. And "kei" means "style". The genre is used for "anime and manga created with the specific purpose of having a healing or soothing effect on the audience. Works of this kind often involve … Continue reading Iyashikei: Japan’s Genre of “Healing Games”
It can feel like an injustice to be told to lower our expectations. It feels like pessimism, as if we're rejecting hope. We don't like the idea that lowering our expectations is the answer to dissatisfaction - it feels bitter, like defeat. However, it can be an act of self-compassion to take a closer look … Continue reading Thoughts: On Lowered Expectations
How does art evolve? Short answer: not easily. When we think about art we tend to picture the kind of art we hang on a wall or place on a pedestal. We think about the old art we appreciate - such as landscapes and realistic sculptures - and then there's the funky world of modern … Continue reading Video Games as Participatory Art
We live in a peculiar time. With major corporations like Amazon or Ebay we can purchase and beckon objects to our homes with a few swipes and taps. The manufacturing industry has ballooned to meet demands we didn't even know the people had. And although we might hesitate to admit it, we really enjoy buying … Continue reading Thoughts: On Shopping and Self-Expression
We've all had those moments. We're in the middle of an argument and suddenly everything changes. We had been sighing or groaning or yelling with the righteous knowledge that we were the right one, but then we realize... maybe we haven't been entirely fair. More dreaded still is when our argument partner points out something … Continue reading Thoughts: On Admitting Our Flaws