Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Digital Production Arts

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Eric Patterson

Committee Member

Dr. Cynthia L. S. Pury

Committee Member

Professor Anthony Summey


Mental illness has always been a tricky subject for us to tackle as a society due to the social stigmas surrounding it. Historically, people with mental illness were seen as violent and unstable and would often need to be committed for public safety; however, a large majority of people with mental illness do not fit that bracket and often don’t reach out for help due to that fear of being “othered” by society. As time went on, these tropes faded to purely entertainment mediums but the stigmas still remain. Many video games specifically hold onto these tropes for shock value and eerie atmospheres, but in turn they also perpetuate these stigmas against the mentally ill. However, there are also games that address the issue in a healthy and respectful way. Both the positive and negative sides of the topic will be discussed as well as detail how I utilize the information I have learned to create respectful renditions of the symptoms of anxiety and depression as boss creatures for a hypothetical video game addressing the concept of psychological courage.



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