Extraordinary Mind Games

In Fall 2016, with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and members from Dames Making Games, the Hand Eye Society and Workman Arts partnered on a series of two 6-week game-making workshops aimed at people who have lived experiences with mental health and/or addiction. The resulting games were shown on Nov 12 2016 as part of the GAME/CHANGE & Extraordinary Mind Game Arcade using arcade cabinets from DMG.

The coordinators: Arielle Grimes, Kaitlin Tremblay, Marishka Zachariah

See below for the original application info. More information on the participants and games will be coming soon!


A free six-week videogame creation workshop for select individuals who identify as Mad or who have lived experiences with mental health or addiction. Applications are open from Aug 2 to Sept 2, 2016.

 Workshop Details

WHEN: Sessions start Tuesday, September 13 and ends Tuesday, October 18

HOW OFTEN: Once a week for six weeks, every Tues from 6-9 PM

WHERE: Workman Arts, 651 Dufferin Street

MANDATORY INFO SESSION: An information session will be held on Wednesday August 31, 6 PM. This 1-hour info session will be mandatory for all potential applicants and will be held at Workman Arts.

HOW MUCH: There is no cost to apply or participate; however, there are only six available spots. Individuals will be selected and notified based on their application.

SCHEDULE (6 weeks)

  • MANDATORY INFO SESSION: Wed, August 31 (6-7 PM)
  • SESSION 1: Tues, Sept 13 (6-9 PM)
  • SESSION 2: Tues, Sept 20 (6-9 PM)
  • SESSION 3: Tues, Sept 27 (6-9 PM)
  • SESSION 4: Tues, Oct 4 (6-9 PM)
  • SESSION 5: Tues, Oct 11 (6-9 PM)
  • SESSION 6: Tues, Oct 18 (6-9 PM)
  • GAME/CHANGE SHOWCASE at Rendezvous With Madness: Nov 12

Call for Participants

To empower creators who have lived experience with mental health or addiction, the Hand Eye Society and Workman Arts are proud to present the Extraordinary Mind Games workshop!

This program is a free six-week videogame creation workshop for individuals who identify as Mad or who have lived experiences with mental health or addiction. Participants will meet once a week for this 6-week facilitated and themed workshop. Led by two program coordinators facilitated by the Hand Eye Society, these workshops will touch upon everything it takes to create various types of video games. With help from facilitators, guest speakers, mentors, peer support and access to free or low-cost game-making resources, participants will be able to channel their own artistic practices to make their own game.

The final games will have the opportunity to be showcased at 2016’s Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival, as part of an arcade exhibition.

Applications are closed.


  • Must be over 18 years of age and have received services for mental health or addiction
  • Must attend the information session on Wednesday, August 31 (Workman Arts, 6-7 PM)
  • Must commit to attending each session, as well as spending self-directed time outside of sessions working on their game
  • Must have access to their own personal laptop or computer

We highly encourage those from marginalized backgrounds to apply, including but not limited to creators who are: people of colour, Black, Indigenous, women, trans, queer, disabled, Deaf.

Should you require any accessibility needs to ensure your participation, please contact al@handeyesociety.com as soon as possible.


  • A participant does not need to disclose diagnosis
  • A participant does not need prior experience in game-making. (No coding or programming experience is required)
  • A participant does not need to pay for this workshop series


The Hand Eye Society and Workman Arts want to encourage and empower the creation of diverse games from diverse creators. The overlap between game-making communities and mental health communities has rarely been explored. Workman Arts, which advocates and supports artists with lived experience, has partnered with The Hand Eye Society to elevate and celebrate how videogames and their creators can transform societal discourses surrounding mental health.

Who are we?

The Hand Eye Society is a non-profit videogame arts organization that is devoted to videogames as a form of creative and artistic expression. We seek to prove that videogames can be created for and by anyone, including those from marginalized communities. Our game-making programs and arcades are busting the myth that only large teams of developers with programming backgrounds can make a game. www.handeyesociety.com

Workman Arts is an organization that has empowered artists with mental health and addiction experiences for over 30 years. Workman Arts runs the annual Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival, a renowned local event that has presented various cultural representations of mental illness since 1993. For more information, visit www.workmanarts.com

Coordinator information

Kaitlin Tremblay is a writer, editor, and independent gamemaker, focusing on horror, feminism, and mental illness activism. Kaitlin is committed to fostering compassion, empathy, diversity, and inclusivity in all aspects of her work. Kaitlin is an active member of the feminist video game collective, Dames Making Games.

Arielle Grimes is an independent Game Designer, who specializes in emotional affect through interactive design. With a focus on narrative and art direction, she’s released multiple impactful projects through the Itch Marketplace.

I have questions/concerns!

If you have questions about this application, please contact Cara Spooner at cara_spooner@workmanarts.com or 416 583 4339