College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

Communication Studies Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in Communication Studies



Primary Advisor

Aubrie S. Adams, College of Liberal Arts, Communication Studies Department


The media has the power to educate audiences on topics through effective storytelling. This paper shows how video games as a medium possess unique potential to affect players through interactive experiences. Two video games titled Celeste and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice serve as examples of social cognitive learning through media exposure. This paper conducts a content analysis on the two titles. From the analysis, we learn the stories in Celeste and Hellblade aim to help those who play them learn how to cope with mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. The literature review section discusses past research done on depression and anxiety. In said section the two communication concepts are defined, analyzed, and explained thoroughly. Next, critic receptions on the games are reviewed through published articles, which transitions into the results and discussion section. The goal of this paper is to explain how Celeste and Hellblade showcase immersive techniques and strong characters to help players learn coping techniques and discuss the positive implications video games have on society. A content analysis was performed to examine how often mental health-oriented topics emerged. Findings showed that these topics occurred approximately 47 times in Celeste and 55 times in Hellblade.