Geekery / Mentalhealth / Toolbox

Gaming as Therapy, Wallowing in the Geek.

So the call came through and the changes were sent directly to the Pharmacy, Her med’s are being increased as of tonight! The mania has broken past her meds and is basking in all it’s glory as evidenced by the situation at the dentist this week.

We also had tried last night after the trip to mental health services to introduce the girls to the local gaming group with everyone else heading there by public transport or being dropped off, and myself and the little super hero meeting them after our appointment.

Wasn’t that interesting, everyone else had a ball meanwhile I was trying everything and sundry to help her simply stay put. The timing for her simply couldn’t have been worse.

However gaming in general is a wonderful repository of tools which you can use to train, exercise and expand skills for your children. They are fantastic even if your children don’t have challenges but if they DO, the world of gaming is SO VAST and varied that you will find something somewhere or even a range of things which perfectly suite the age, stage and skill you want to work on with your child.

The Little Super Hero’s psychiatrist actually recommended Advanced Board games to teach and exercise her concentration and focusing particularly during mania, little did he know we were already there.

Games of physical skill and dexterity such as Jenga while basic are also exceptionally useful in assessing her mood state and just how manic she is. A good comparison is, when she had first been on the Lamitrogine for a month, she was able to carefully and skillfully with amazing levels of dexterity whittle the Jenga tower in competition with her psychologist into a wobbling skeleton of single crosses….it was incredible. Last night on her second move the entire tower landed on her head she had that little control.

Right now is the time to simply exercise and not challenge the level she is at, and possibly even point her in the direction of the trampoline.

However during the times her medications are working is when we really NEED to get to work rather than doing damage control. It is at these times that we can literally train her to improve her focus, concentration and self control, that while she is manic she can maintain a higher level of Function through those episodes.

A Fantastic Game for this is one which we Kickstarted in 2013, and are backing again this year for further expansions and goodies.

It is called Cthulhu Wars. It is based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, which suites her predilection for the dark and evil to a T.

I am not going to go into the theme I will leave that to Sandy on his Kickstarter and home page. What makes Cthulhu Wars such a gem for this purpose is the fact that every Faction in the game plays Differently. It isn’t a one shot deal, you don’t just learn the rules and jump right in (although you can), each faction and the mechanics they have is different, there are spell books and cards which you can reference for these differences, but to play each well you will need to play each enough to get the hang of them. Although Individual games do not drag out to such a degree that she is likely to burn out before the game is finished. The game also grows, the core game contain’s 4 Factions, but there are 4 more Factions out there not yet available via retail but the hope is that they will be.
Right now the second Kickstarter for Cthulhu Wars Onslaught Two is underway, and you can back for the core game right through to any combination of expansions factions and goodies or even go all in for the lot. It is incredibly good value for the quality and volume of materials the game provides.

We are also finding keeping a Card Game in the Pocket can be particularly helpful, the likes of Munchkin isn’t exactly Pocket Friendly due to the number of cards. However Zilli and A Chaotic Life are perfectly suited to the purpose of pocket games complex enough to keep her busy or even just to structure some energy burning outside offices.

I highly recommend protecting such decks with Card Sleeves and a product recently produced called the Card Caddy so that you can get the most out of the life of your Decks.

Their Uncle decades ago achieved exactly the same strengthening of concentration and focus to self treat ADHD using gaming across multiple platforms.

You don’t need to limit yourself to board games either. There are Role Play Games, Console games, PC games.

One of our favourites for working on literacy is actually Ni No Kuni

As you should be able to see in the Let’s Play Video, the key to the game is in the simultaneous text on the screen, along with visual context and cues turning it into a digital story book. There are also opportunities for the player to read through independently.

There is literally SO much out there in so many genre’s and forms that I could go on forever but I will stop here, with an Urging to look and explore to discover the endless resources out there.

No I’m not getting paid or cudo’s for this (they don’t even know I am jumping up and down and raving about their products so don’t think for a moment that I am authorised at all) this is just what we do.

Some of my favourite resources for tracking down and learning about which games will suit:


Shut Up & Sit Down

Humble Bundle

Board Game Geek


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