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Society loves a scapegoat, and all too often it's gaming that cops the blame. The violent nature of video games comes under scrutiny in the wake of tragic shootings, while the rise in mental health issues is, at times, attributed to the increased prevalence of gaming. The concern is for an alleged generation of isolated and introverted youth, lacking in social development due to hours spent in virtual worlds.

Some argue that in many cases gaming is responsible for common mental health conditions including social anxiety and depression, born out of dissatisfaction with the real world in comparison to the virtual space. A similar phenomenon, termed "Pandoran Depression," followed the immensely popular James Cameron film Avatar in 2009, when mundane daily life fell short of how viewers perceived the idyllic fantasy world of the film.

As a means to see how gaming and mental illness correlate in reality, I spoke with four self-professed "gamers" who have also been diagnosed with mental health disorders. Despite their fears of stigma, Lucy, David, Paul, and Erin* bravely opened up to me about how gaming has impacted their struggle with mental illness, for better and for worse.

When one thinks of Final Fantasy music, the first name that comes to mind is typically Nobuo Uematsu. While Uematsu certainly played an important part in bringing the music to life, there have been a handful of people who have spent years keeping this music in the spotlight. One such person is Arnie Roth, the music director and conductor for the Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy concert series. Mr. Roth has a storied history with the music of Final Fantasy, reaching back to 2005 when he conducted Dear Friends: music from Final Fantasy—the first Final Fantasy concert to take place outside of Japan. Since then, he has been working closely with Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu and Square Enix to continue this long heritage of musical performances. In 2007, Distant Worlds made its debut in Stockholm, Sweden and has continued to delight fans to this day, having been performed over 100 times across five different continents.

I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago event on December 26th, where I was able to sit down with Mr. Roth to discuss his career and the development of the Distant Worlds concert series. Head inside for the full interview!

Liam Robertson, a researcher known under the name "Tamaki" for uncovering information on cancelled games, joined our latest episode of the Nintendo Week Podcast to discuss some of the many discoveries he's made in his time investigating Nintendo. One of the subjects that came up was the rumor he broke a few months ago that Shovel Knight is joining Super Smash Bros. as a DLC fighter, and while he couldn't say whether he personally knows whether it's true, he did explain part of the reason he believes it's more likely than not.

Based on information that he's heard from sources within Nintendo and other prominent companies in the industry, he speculates that Nintendo's Japanese headquarters is really quite fond of Shovel Knight. Head past the jump to read more.

There are tons of gaming enthusiast podcasts out in the wild, but almost none of the top-tier podcasts are made specifically for Nintendo fans. That's where we come in! We here at Gamnesia are bringing you a new episode of "Nintendo Week," a podcast made for Nintendo fans by Nintendo fans.

This week, Alex, Ben, and Colin are joined by Liam Robertson, also known as Tamaki from Unseen64, to discuss a whole slew of subjects. Our news segment includes some recent reports about a powerful NX console, as well as Tri Force Heroes impressions, Chibi-Robo, and more. After the break we'll touch on the rumor Tamaki reported that Shovel Knight is coming to Smash, who the Fighter Ballot characters could be, Retro Studios' next project, and what's happening behind-the-scenes with Metroid, Kirby, and more. This is a jam-packed episode you won't want to miss! You can check out the episode below—or if you'd like to save it to listen later, you can check the latest episode out on iTunes, available now. And be sure to head past the jump if you'd like to learn more about the stories we discuss!

At Gamescom this year, Gamnesia had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Creative Assembly Communications Manager Al Bickham about the upcoming Total War: Warhammer. The reactions from the fans have been many, and the questions have been many more. How will a series like Total War, which has previously engaged in historical campaigns, tackle a fictional realm of not only humans but Orcs, Dwarfs, Trolls and Dragons? There are many new elements to this game such as monsters, flying units, and magic. Will Creative Assembly make an amazing new kind of Total War, or will this end up being a buggy cash grab? Head inside for the full interview!

Recently, I got the chance to talk to pianist and composer Kyle Landry, one of the biggest up-and-coming musicians on the Internet.

Kyle Landry is most famous for his YouTube channel, which reached 400,000 subscribers just last week. Since March of 2006, when he was just a teenager, Kyle has uploaded hundreds upon hundreds of videos of himself playing the piano, mostly improvisations of tons of pieces from video games, movies, and anime. His piano arrangements for these songs are some of the most popular in the world, and he has become one of the most popular musicians on the site. Some of his most viewed videos are his arrangements of "Passion" and "Dearly Beloved" from Kingdom Hearts, and "Time" from the movie Inception. His videos have gained over 110 million views and have inspired thousands of young musicians around the world to follow his lead.

Follow after the jump to check out the full interview with Kyle!

Justin Wong’s name resonates over people’s minds when they think of “professional gaming” and/or “e-sport.” He has been involved with professional gaming for over 10 years and has over 40 champion titles under his belt. He’s known for making remarkable comebacks and is renowned (and feared) in various fighting game circuits. The titles for Marvel vs Capcom 3 Champion at EVO 2014, Mortal Kombat 9 Champion, and the Major League Gaming Killer Instinct Champion are only some of the recent titles he holds. You would think Wong would be an intimidating guy, but I had to opportunity to sit down and ask him a few questions at Momocon 2015. What I found it is that he is a laid-back individual who, at the core, is just all about having a good time doing what he does.

Full interview after the jump!

Unless you've been completely out of the gaming sphere in the past year, chances are you've heard something about indie platformer sensation Shovel Knight. Started as a Kickstarter project a couple of years ago, the game has since grown to garner the love of gamers all over, gathering enough critical acclaim to win over 70 Game of the Year awards in 2014 and enough fan favoritism to elevate the eponymous knight to Smash character contender status - in some fans' minds, that is. It is set to release on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita later this year alongside the brand new free DLC pack, Plague of Shadows — among other surprises. The love for this new wave retro platformer is sure to grow over the next year.

In between working on the aforementioned expansions and debuting footage of the highly-anticipated DLC at PAX East, Yacht Club Games, the studio behind Shovel Knight, kindly took the time to answer some of our questions about what the future holds for the title, and the franchise.

Head inside for the full interview!

Yesterday on our Nintendo Week podcast, we sat down with ArtsyOmni, the extremely talented artist behind the recent Rayman in Smash Bros. hoax, to discuss the hoax: why he made it, why the internet was so captivated, and what he plans to do in the future. He's beginning a new series on YouTube called "Smashified," where viewers can choose which video game characters he should draw in the Super Smash Bros. art style, so that we can see what all of our favorite gaming icons would look like if they were a part of Smash. Head past the jump to see the interview!

After the end of the era of iconic gaming magazine Nintendo Power, a new publications stepped up, not to take its place, but continue its legacy. Over two years later, this brave new periodical is going more strongly than ever into its third year. The mastermind behind this endeavor, Lucas M. Thomas (former editor-at-large of IGN's Nintendo Team), was kind of enough to answer some of the burning questions the Nintendo and Nintendo Power fans here at Gamnesia have, and he delved into the inner working of Nintendo Force, the opportunities it provides fans, its relationship to Nintendo, and more.

Dan Adelman has been a key player at Nintendo of America for nearly a decade. As head of digital content and development Adelman was the man in charge of Nintendo's indie program, reaching out to make sure that games like Shovel Knight, Cave Story, and World of Goo make it to Nintendo eShop. Recently, he announced that he had decided to part ways with Nintendo, but his work with indie developers continues.

Adelman continues to help indie developers with the business and marketing end of the industry, and recently announced Axiom Verge as his first post-Nintendo project. We caught up with him for an interview and discussed life at Nintendo, life after Nintendo, the state of the indie market, and more. Check it all out by clicking below!

Throughout the 2000's, Armor Games dominated the Flash games industry. One of their most valuable developers was Antony Lavelle, who created a slew of great series such as Indestructotank, SHIFT, and the narrative platformer K.O.L.M. Though originally intended as a trilogy, Antony left Armor Games after the second installment. Now, however, he's aiming to finish off the story with a grand remake of everything K.O.L.M. up to this point, along with the final chapter, through Kickstarter.

With fond memories of K.O.L.M. prancing through my head, I asked Antony to answer a few questions. His answers give some incredible insight into the struggles and successes of an independent developer.

See the interview after the jump!

Indie studio Skymap Games is hard at work on Bacon Man: An Adventure, an upcoming action-platformer inspired by Mega Man X and Earthworm Jim. We at Gamnesia were lucky enough to interview Neal Laurenza, Managing Director of the studio, and find out all about this gorgeous, action-packed meatfest.

If you like what you see, don't forget to head on over and help them reach their funding goal on Kickstarter! There are only five days left, so be sure to act quickly. But first, head on inside to read all about it!

We recently posted a story about Paperbound, an extraordinarily unique fighting game coming soon to PC (and consoles if it hits the proper stretch goals on its Kickstarter campaign). Those who have played the demo know that Paperbound is an exciting, frantic, scream-at-your-friends-until-you-lose-you-voice thrill ride of a game, but we had the opportunity to talk about the game one-on-one with Dan Holbert, the game's lead designer.

Head inside for the full scoop on Paperbound!

A year ago we saw a teaser for a musical tribute to the Super Smash Bros. series called Harmony of Heroes. Word on the project has been mostly silent since its announcement, but we met up with Darren Kerwin, the album's director, to discuss their progress.

Kerwin says that Harmony of Heroes will feature a wide variety of musical styles with about twice as much music as the team's last project, Harmony of a Hunter: 101% Run, which supplements the original Harmony of a Hunter to form the ultimate Metroid fan album. A few months ago, the team released a new trailer for Harmony of Heroes to show off four sneak peeks at some of the album's music.

To watch the trailer and learn more about Harmony of Heroes, head past the jump!