Lock Haven Clinical Mental Health Counseling Faculty Member Invited to Participate on Video Game Panel


A Commonwealth University-Lock Haven faculty member will participate in a panel discussion for the Japan Foundation of New York related to the Legend of Zelda video game.

The virtual event, "The Legend of Zelda: Exploring the Legacy of Breath of the Wild," will be held on Friday, June 30, at 8 p.m. on YouTube.

Dr. Stephen Kuniak, a clinical mental health counseling faculty member at Lock Haven, will be one of five professors joining the panel discussion who research video games.

"I am supportive of gamers rather than seeing it as a problem," Kuniak said. "I like to look at gaming and mental health from a positive angle."

Kuniak is a practicing Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and clinical supervisor. His professional interests are counseling theories and practice, anxiety disorder treatment, substance use treatment, family counseling, as an LGBTQIA+ community ally, and clinical supervision. His particular areas of focus are on the clinical application of geek and gaming themes. He founded a 501c3 non-profit organization, Experience Points, to further his gaming and geek culture endeavors. He has been interviewed about his research and clinical practice for publications including the Washington Post and Counseling Today.

During the event, panelists will discuss the legacy of "Breath of the Wild" from the perspectives of video game history, ideology, psychology, gender and music, while exploring the significance and impact of the series in the gaming world. There also will be a question and answer session with the panelists.

Since its release in 2017, Breath of the Wild is the best-selling game in The Legend of Zelda series and is considered one of the greatest video games of all time. It is described as "groundbreaking," changing how many saw open-world experiences in video games and inspiring many following titles.

For more information or to reserve a spot for the free event, visit https://tinyurl.com/v922fn7s.