The team at Xbox Accessibility have just released their Mental Health Best Practices Guidelines as part of their accessibility resources, and we were excited to play a part in it.
The guidelines are aiming to educate developers on ways to create inclusive and safe experiences within their games for all players, by providing content warnings, content customization options, and avoiding the use of stereotyped or stigmatized representations of in-game characters with mental health conditions.
The guidelines are thorough, and contain support around the initial concepts and scoping of developing content that will elicit a challenging response in players, depict trauma, mental health conditions and behaviours.
They also discuss where mental health considerations can be important within game development and player experiences, and provide examples of ways this has been done well in other games. By highlighting the best practices that exist already within these spaces and uplifting and empowering developers into being more inclusive when portraying mental health within games, we can create safer experiences for everyone.
We’re excited to see a detailed resource aimed at game developers within mental health and are delighted to be involved in this project. Please check out the full guidelines here.