Olly Donnelly, Queen’s University Belfast, ‘Escaping to Tarkov: Military gaming communities, mental health, and recovery.’
Soldiers, Veterans, and Military Families have long been targets of programs, both centralised and ‘grass-roots’, to encourage emotional resilience, positive ‘mental-health’, and post-conflict recovery. This paper reflects on how ‘video-games’ fit into these programs, both by reflecting on the existing literature, and by expanding knowledge with my own work, looking at charities, forums, and other organisations and individuals that merge gaming with ‘supporting the troops’ materially, socially, and emotionally. I also look at the specific games that these communities are built around, and how they fit into the equation – Why, for example, do soldiers play gruellingly realistic military shooters while they’re off duty
Oliver Donnelly is a PhD Research Scholar in the School of Politics and International Studies at Queen’s. His research concerns the interconnections between then worlds of modern Security and Gaming, with a particular focus on militaries. He Holds an MA in Violence, Terrorism and Security from Queen’s (having written a Dissertation about insurgencies and terrorism in popular games) and a BA in PPES from Trinity College Dublin. In his free time, aside from gaming, he enjoys lifting heavy things, TV quiz shows, and finding novel and extravagant ways to prepare and consume coffee.
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