How to Use the Database
This database was created by a small team of people of diverse genders, disabilities, ethnicities, nationalities, and backgrounds. We have worked hard to ensure the project does not have a traditional Western focus.
This database does not contain seizure or migraine triggers.
Games can be searched by title or common abbreviation (The Elder Scrolls Online / ESO) and will return the game with all content trigger categories and tags listed. When using abbreviations to search, ensure you put the abbreviation inside quotation marks (“ESO”) otherwise results will contain everything that contains those letters.
Category and Tag Search
If there are specific contents you are looking to avoid, you can search for that as well. Say you want to avoid games with spiders. You can search for “Arachnophobia” “Fear of spiders” or “Spiders” and the results will show you all games that have spiders in them. Games that have spiders but include a toggle such as that in Grounded will be included in the results as well but will indicate that there is a toggle to make them less phobic. For everyone’s peace of mind, we have not included any images of any content references.
Again, if you want your search results to be very specific, ensure you are searching within quotation marks. Especially for a distinction between consensual sex and sexual assault, as searching for sex without quotation marks will result in everything that contains the letters s-e-x.
Games with which the creators of this database have the most familiarity are, for now, more fleshed out with specifics in the tag results than games we are not familiar with. We aim to add more detail for all games as we are able, but all games include, at the very least, main and subcategories (for example, phobias and specific phobia names).
Category and Tag Exploration
We’ve also made the database handy for educators, mental health professionals, and researchers interested in exploring all games that contain various topics. Categories and tags can be explored in list form and clicking each main and subcategory will result in a list of all games that contain that topic.
About “Can be avoided” “Can’t be avoided” and “Has option to mitigate”
We’ve used the “has option to mitigate” indicator only in instances when there is a toggle in settings to completely avoid the content, such as those in Dead Space for content warnings. “Can be avoided” applies only to instances where players must make a clear choice allowing them to avoid something, like choosing to “Woohoo” in TheSims 4. Content included in random encounters, side quests, and DLC are, for now, not differentiated. We’ve done this to be mindful of spoilers and because we cannot know if a player will or will not partake in a side quest or discover a random world event. DLC content versus main game content will be differentiated at a later time.
Have we missed something?
If you’re browsing games and see a category or tag that we have missed, please let us know by filling out the form linked on each game’s page in as much detail as possible. And please be understanding that this site will not be perfect and it will not be possible to catch everything that is potentially triggering for every single person.
Are you localizing this database?
Not at this time. We may explore localization in the future, but we are a very small, all volunteer team and it is not possible currently.
Can community members submit games?
No. Our goal with this database is to have all games and tags vetted by mental health professionals and to ensure that this remains possible, we have to keep the scope manageable. If you’re a mental health professional interested in assisting us with this, please get in touch.
Can developers submit their games?
Yes! Please send us an email at GameContentTriggersDB@gmail.com and we will be in touch with our game submission process. If you’d rather not submit your game yourself, you can send us a review code and we’ll add it to our database queue.
Where are Nintendo Switch games?
They’re coming soon! Again, we’re a small team working within what’s possible for us at the present time.
Where are the sports, fighting, and racing games?
We’ve chosen to focus on games that are more likely to have non-obvious triggers. What we mean by that is, say you have trauma regarding driving and want to avoid high speed driving in games. It’s unlikely you’ll play a racing game because high speed is the point. But you may not be expecting to find high speed driving in an RPG that isn’t explicitly a racing game. Want to avoid fighting in games? You’re probably not going to choose a fighting game. These three types of games also tend to not be particularly narrative heavy, so they’re less likely to contain surprise triggers for people.
Will you be adding Indie and Mobile games?
Absolutely! Indie devs are invited to use our above submission process to assist us in getting their games onto the database. We will be looking to bring on some mobile gamer volunteers after our launch to add them to the database as well.
Do you have a Discord server or other community space?
No. We have chosen to avoid creating community spaces because we are not equipped to engage in the mental health discussions that inevitably come up when discussing triggering content in games. For game-focused mental health community spaces and support, please visit TakeThis.org or SafeInOurWorld.org.
You can find us on Twitter at @GameTriggersDB
Will you be rating or reviewing games?
No. Our goal is solely to provide information to enable players to make choices that protect their mental health and found that our “does this game have this, yes/no” approach is the best way we can facilitate that. Reviews tend to be very subjective and what bothers a reader may have been missed entirely or interpreted differently by a reviewer. This is also why we have ensured the database was built by a diverse team.
We have chosen to not rate games because we are not interested in dissuading people from buying or playing games. Our goal is information for consenting choices only.
Are you looking for more help or volunteers?
While we are not accepting community game submissions, we are eager for help! If you’re an expert in a big game franchise (Persona, Call of Duty, Final Fantasy, etc.) or an expert in massive games like World of Warcraft, Genshin Impact, or Final Fantasy XIV please send us an email at GameContentTriggersDB@gmail.com
Will this database help me learn which games are suitable for my kids?
This was designed primarily for adults, though it may help you learn about games your kids want to play. We’ve included ESRB and PEGI age ratings for informational purposes. The topics we’re covering in the database tend to be very mature and our main area of focus is games rated ages 16+.
Will this database warn me about seizure / epilepsy triggers?
No. This database is not intended to be used for warnings on anything that may endanger your physical health. We cover mental health and content warning / triggers only. We do not have the knowledge or expertise required to speak on seizure triggers.
Where can I learn more about content warnings and why they matter?
Do No Harm: Ethically Designing Emotionally Heavy Games (Games for Change talk)
If you have access to the GDC vault, check out the talk “There Be Dragons.”
Read the story of Bess the 97 year old gamer (partial inspiration for this database) playing Red Dead Redemption 2.
If you’ve experienced a trauma or have been triggered, take a Tetris break! (Really. Read more in this CNN article.)