Η Αγγελική Μαλακασιώτη, Επίκ. Καθηγήτρια του Τμήματος Τεχνών Ήχου και Εικόνας, έλαβε το βραβείο Amps-Intellect Mediated Cities Award για τo ερευνητικό της βίντεο με θέμα ‘Video Game Environments and Depression’. Το βίντεο δημιουργήθηκε και παρουσιάστηκε πρώτη φορά στο πλαίσιο του AMPS (Architecture Media Politics Society) Μediated City Conference που διοργανώθηκε από το University of the West of England και από την Intellect Books το 2018 με θέμα ‘Health: The Design, Planning and Politics of How and Where We Live’, ενώ συνοδευτικό άρθρο του έργου σε συνεργασία με την ομότιμη καθηγήτρια Φανή Βαβύλη και τίτλο “Video Game Environments and Depression - Healing Aspects οf Contemporary Digital Spaces” δημοσιεύθηκε στα πρακτικά του συνεδρίου AMPS Proceedings Series 11.
The study explores the way in which contemporary video game environments deal with the depressive condition and the design aspects that are employed in order to develop digital and interactive spaces capable of affecting their users on an emotional level. Widespread digital culture, and especially the prevailing phenomenon of video games, is developing today at such a speed that it can be regarded as a modern type of epidemic. Especially, the new generation is fully familiar with modern technologies as well as with the “habitation” of the digital-analog reality. In particular, the number of players worldwide has exceeded 1.8 billion since 2016. At the same moment, this observation is juxtaposed with the phenomenon of depression, one of the most widespread psychological conditions of the contemporary world. Depression can both be regarded as a clinical state as well as a deeply intimate and melancholic mood or state of being. According to the latest data from the World Health Organization, depression appears to be a silent scourge of the modern age, surpassing 350 million people, according to recent measurements. Interestingly, many studies show the extent of this disorder, referring to it as one of the most common mental disorders in the western world, and estimating that by 2020, depression will be the second disability factor worldwide, after heart disease. Early research observations described videogames as capable of provoking a depressive condition. However, recent multidisciplinary studies claim that according to recordings of brain activity in both players and depressed people, video games do not appear as the cause, but as the neurological counterpart of depression. In this context, the study will discuss cases of videogame design and the spaces they represent in order to provoke healing, or encourage a deeper understanding of an intimate human condition through alternative approaches of the ways people experience and inhabit digital environments.