Date of Award

Spring 5-27-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts


Expressive Therapies




This thesis explores the accessibility of video games to populations with disabilities, as well as the inclusivity of video game design, and how the application of expressive arts therapy (ExAT) can benefit in processing and navigating difficult feelings that may arise for a gamer in the video game community. Video games have evolved immensely since first being introduced in the 1970-s and come a long way to accommodate a diverse set of people, yet video games are still marketed toward and for ableist populations. This paper reviews literature on the limitations of video games for the player as well as the toxic nature of the gaming community and the benefits of video games on mental wellbeing. It also examines shared personal experiences with colleagues and my own lived experience of physical and mental limitations with video games. Findings suggest that video games can offer positive benefits on social skills and mental health and if they were more accessible to a wider audience, more individuals would be able to experience these benefits. Video games can be used as a therapeutic tool to explore worlds and landscapes that may otherwise be impossible, offer the player to use their senses to explore, play, and find meaning through use of the ETC, and help connect and reconnect relationships.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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