SPARTIE-Cast with Dr. Robby Ratan

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This week host Robby Ratan had a truly enlightening conversation with Dr. Sarah Hays, a practicing clinician who uses video games and avatars in the therapy she provides to her clients. She also works at Take This and Queer Women of Esports.

Show Notes

This week host Robby Ratan had a truly enlightening conversation with Dr. Sarah Hays, a practicing clinician who uses video games and avatars in the therapy she provides to her clients. She also works at Take This and Queer Women of Esports. The two discuss the Geek Therapeutics movement (super cool idea Robby had never heard of), the exciting potential to provide therapy using and/or inside of video games and virtual reality, and the important role that avatars (and the Proteus effect) play in such therapy.

Robby is truly inspired to help his research field build stronger bridges with practicing clinicians after this conversation! And remember, if anyone is skeptical about using a game for therapy, tell them it’s just a playable book!

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About this week's guest:
Dr. Sarah Hays is a doctor of counseling psychology and practicing clinician specialized in Geek Therapy, ADHD and LGBTQIA+ populations. 

She's the mentorship lead and a podcast co-host at Queer Women of Esports, an organization dedicated to providing resources and mentorship to help create positive change the esports industry and make it more inclusive. 

Hays is also a clinical contributor at Take This, a non-profit organization focused on supporting and decreasing the stigma around mental health in the gaming community and industry. 

About the SPARTIE Lab:
The Social and Psychological Approaches to Research on Technology-Interaction Effects (SPARTIE) Lab performs research on the effects of human-technology interaction, examining how the use of media technologies (e.g., avatars, agents, automobiles) influences meaningful outcomes (e.g., education, health/safety, persuasion).

The SPARTIE Lab is part of the greater academic community at the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University. More information on the lab's research projects, staff, and work can be found on the SPARTIE Lab website.

About the host:
Dr. Rabindra (Robby) Ratan, Ph. D., is an associate professor and AT&T Scholar at Michigan State University’s Department of Media and Information and is the director of the SPARTIE Lab.

He is also an affiliated faculty member of the MSU Department of Psychology, the MSU College of Education’s program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology, and the MSU Center for Gender in a Global Context. Ratan received his Ph.D. from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, his M.A. in Communication from Stanford University, and his B.A. in Science, Technology and Society, also from Stanford University.

Dr. Ratan conducts research on the effects of human-technology interaction, examining how media technologies (e.g., avatars, agents, automobiles) influence meaningful outcomes (e.g., persuasion, education, health/safety).  He is particularly interested in the Proteus effect, media-rich transportation contexts, perceptions of media as self-representations and/or social others, avatarification for health and education, and gender stereotypes in gaming contexts.

Dr. Ratan lives near Lansing with his family. More information on his work can be found on his website.

What is SPARTIE-Cast with Dr. Robby Ratan ?

Hello, world! Check out SPARTIE-Cast, with Dr. Robby Ratan, Director of the Social and Psychological Approaches to Technology-Interaction Effects (SPARTIE) Lab at Michigan State University, with amazing support from Producer George McNeill and Technical Director, Connor Bird.