Posted by & filed under Board Games, Gaming, Media Library, Mental Health, Video Games.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we at the UNT Media Library would like to take a moment to highlight the benefits that games, gaming, and play can have on mental health and general well-being.

Whether it be relaxing by playing your favorite adventure game, staying active and challenging your brain by solving a difficult puzzle, enjoying a new or classic boardgame, or even hopping on your phone to play a few minutes of a mobile game when you finally have a moment away, many of us utilize games and gaming in some form or fashion to relax and unwind or, alternatively, to stay active and engaged. Each of these activities can be a great resource to de-stress, spend time with friends, and visit other worlds, all the while unlocking rewards, completing goals, or earning achievements. 

For some, the best way to decompress is by participating in a solo, single-player adventure at your own pace and at your own will. For others, the most freeing thing about playing a game is the ability to engage in a multiplayer setting while continuing to foster camaraderie and support connection with others, even during times of social distance. 

There are times that games can support mental health and well-being even just by watching your favorite esport or seeing your favorite streamer play through a game you enjoy (or a game you can’t beat) while you sit back and relax with a bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning 

Gamification, the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts, is also often utilized in various forms during counseling sessions. 

When playing a game, the player can create a set of goals or have those goals provided, complete objectives they set their mind to, and gain a sense of accomplishment when these goals are completed; the rewarding sensation of progressing beyond a milestone and earning a reward for doing so can at times be almost unrivaled. The player can explore, experience, and create worlds. They can encounter and discover characters of all kinds and can even build bonds with these characters and live through the countless stories presented. 

There are numerous games that are great resources for developing positive mental health and well-being. Some games which are said to foster and support well-being include titles like JourneyHollow KnightAbzu, and Animal Crossing. However, there are even games known to have accurate or positive in-game representations of mental health as well, such as HellbladeLife is Strange, and Celeste. For example, in Celeste, the game is structured in a way that allows the player to gain a better understanding of what they may be dealing with in their own lives, with personified problems that allow the player to address things in the game or within themselves. 

Regardless of the delivery method, whether it be playing video games, playing tabletop and board games, watching others play games, rooting for your favorite team or player, or even just making a game out of something that wasn’t initially a game to begin with, games and gaming have the tremendous ability to allow us to relax, unwind, and enjoy ourselves truly however we see fit.  

For more information on mental health and games for well-being, as well as a comprehensive list of games which can support mental health, head over to CheckPoint to read more about the psychological benefits of video games: 

You can also access and join CheckPoint’s pro-mental health gaming community, GamerMates, here: 

For more mental health and well-being resources located on the UNT campus, head over to the following link here: 

Be well and game on.


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May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. To learn more about how these rich heritages intertwine with American history, we invite UNT patrons to check out some of the films on this list, all of which are available to stream.


In Football We Trust

With unprecedented access and shot over a four-year time period, this feature length documentary intimately portrays four young Polynesian men striving to overcome gang violence and near poverty through American football. Viewed as the “salvation” for their families, these young players reveal the culture clash they experience as they transform out of their adolescence and into the high stakes world of collegiate recruiting and rigors of societal expectations.

Watch “In Football We Trust” online here


Two young Japanese Americans set out to find an obscure place called Manzanar in the California desert, in 1969. This was one of ten sites where over 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated during World War II. This rediscovery then became a ‘pilgrimage’ and the first public event in the U.S. that called attention to the reality of these camps. 

Watch “Pilgrimage” online here. 

You Don’t Know Jack: The Jack Soo Story

A pioneer for Asian American actors, Jack Soo was the first Asian American cast in a lead role of a television series. In this documentary, friends, family, and peers recount stories from his life, from his experience as an internee during World War II, to rising nightclub star, Broadway performer, and eventually television regular. 

Watch You Don’t Know Jack online here. 

Videofashion Designers: Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang is a prominent Asian American fashion designer whose designs rose to fame in 2007, attracting the attention of luxury retailers and celebrities. Videofashion Designers takes the time to look into the brand and the popular designer behind it who rose to prominence over the last decade. 

Watch Videofashion Designers: Alexander Wang online here

How to Be a Writer: Between the Lines, Celest Ng

Celest Ng is the best-selling novelist behind the hits “Everything I Never Told You,” and” Little Fires Everywhere,” which has been adapted into a television series starring Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon. Her awards include being the author of a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, and her first novel was named best book of the year by over a dozen publications. 

Watch How to Be a Writer with Celest Ng online here.

Soh Daiko: Taiko in New York

This is the story of a collective drumming community and an empowering Asian American art form, from it beginnings in the basement of the New York Buddhist Church in 1979, as told by its founders and its former and present members.

Watch Soh Daiko: Taiko in New York online here.


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A spring of social distancing has made life complicated, especially when it comes to last minute changes to plans for large events. From sports games, to concerts, to simply going to the movies, everyone has been forced to make sacrifices and postpone things they were looking forward to. We all know it’s not just about seeing a show live in person. It’s about sharing the experience with other people. These are things that are hard to replicate.
However, as being in a thunderous, excited crowd isn’t an option at the moment, the UNT Media Library wants to help. Below, patrons can browse several services and collections of streaming theatrical performances from world renowned productions. It may not be the same as sitting side by side a fellow theater goer. Nonetheless, feel free to giving a standing ovation in your living room when the curtain falls and the credits roll. 

The National Theatre Collection:

Want modern visions of classics with star studded casts? NT Live’s is your best bet. “NT Live brings the stage to life through access to high definition streaming video of world-class productions and unique archival material offering significant insight into theatre and performance studies. Through a collaboration with the U.K.’s National Theatre, this collection offers a range of digital performance resources never previously seen outside of the National Theatre’s archive.”

Watch Now

National Theatre Collection | Alexander Street

Alexander Street’s Ballet Collection: 

Being cooped up for weeks is hard. It’s normal to feel a little stir crazy. Get out that energy by dancing out that feeling while you watch these beautiful ballet performances. Or, just sit back and enjoy the show. We don’t need any sprained ankles, folks. 

Watch Now


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Kelsey Recommends:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (DVD 13616): 

An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

Kelsey Recommends:

Your Name (DVD 18135):

Two strangers find themselves linked in a bizarre way. As a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?

Erin Recommends:

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (DVD 779): 

Three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.

Erin Recommends:

Pump Up the Volume (DVD 4347): 

Mark runs a pirate radio station and causes an uproar when he speaks his mind and enthralls fellow teens.

Chris Recommends:

Hotline Miami (Steam): 

A surrealist video game that dives into the mind of an assassin living within the neon gloss of the late 1980’s of Miami.

Stuart Recommends:

The Fountain (DVD 7314): 

A scientist struggles with mortality, desperately searching for the breakthrough that will save the life of his sick wife.

Maya Recommends:

Outlander Season 4 (DVD 18893): 

An English combat nurse from 1945 is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 Scotland.

Maya Recommends:

Moonlighter (Game 926): 

Moonlighter is an RPG that shows two sides of the coin, revealing the routines of a shopkeeper that secretly dreams of becoming a hero.

Maya Recommends:

Abzû (Game 909 PS4): 

A nameless scuba diver explores the depths of the ocean.

Laramie Recommends:

Annihilation (DVD 18508): 

A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don’t apply.


What are some of your favorite scores and soundtracks? Sound off in the comments below.

Posted by & filed under Movie Recommendations.


This February, in honor of Black History Month, the UNT Media Library would like to spotlight six documentaries that examine the complex intersection of race in the worlds of art, business, entertainment, education, and industry. The figures in these films not only offer inspiration to rise above outstanding odds, but engage the audience in the ongoing discussion of identity challenges in American society. 

“A Ballerina’s Tale” follows the rise of ballerina Misty Copleland, the first African American principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater. The film discusses the difficulties women of color have historically faced in the world of ballet, and how Misty’s work has inspired change. Her inspiring story details the performer’s struggles, from injuries to systemic prejudice, while also documenting the health risks and challenges ballerinas across the globe face to pursue their dreams. (DVD 17391).

“Boss: The Black Experience in Business” from PBS tells the stories of black entrepreneurs, covering 150 years of American history. Often forgotten or overlooked, these figures are given their due, showing their affect on American industry. “Boss” examines the prejudices and challenges that tried to hold these industrious leaders back from the American Dream. (DVD 18738)


“Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” acts as an illuminating portrait of an legendary writer. “Pieces” follows Morrison’s life from childhood to her rise to narrative success. Her works were not only award winning and highly regarded; they challenged readers to examine humanity, race, and the history of America itself. (DVD 18767).

In “Good Hair”, Chris Rock takes the audience through the complex history and culture of hair in the African American community. A lighthearted take, but a serious examination, “Good Hair” looks behind the scenes of the multi-billion dollar beauty industry, and allows for an honest look at how hair affects black people, especially black women, in their professional and personal lives. (DVD 11540).


“Hoop Dreams” is considered one of the best documentaries ever made. The film follows two talented African American teenagers who are recruited to play basketball for a mostly white high school, and the struggles these students and their families met in order to make it work. The film examines race, sports, and economic division all through the lens of sports, leaving critic Roger Ebert to call it “one of the best films about American life I have ever seen.” (DVD 4697).


“Tell Them We are Rising” showcases the history of HBCUs, or “Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” These institutions have had major influence over the last 150 years in America, yet their story remains largely untold. From pre-slavery to today, “Tell Them” showcases the important history and evolution of the education system for African Americans. (DVD 18293). 



Posted by & filed under Movie Recommendations, Television Recommendations.

The San Diego Comic Con is notorious for many things – fans camping in long lines to be the first to see new trailers, spotting celebrities in the delirium-inducing Exhibit Hall, and more cosplayers than there are multiverses in the Marvel canon. It is pretty much Christmas in July for fan boys and girls across the globe, where the Pop Culture industry comes out to share a slew of projects set to delight the masses over the next few years. “SDCC” is how we find out winter is coming, who will next pilot the Tardis, and where the Avengers assemble. However, it’s easy to get lost in the avalanche of news and hype — which is why we made this special news roundup of all the biggest announcements.




  1. Marvel’s “Phase 4” – There is no Endgame in sight for Marvel movie fans as the MCU’s producer Kevin Feige announced their next phase of stories coming to screens soon. The next two years will bring us five Marvel films and five television series, which will be exclusive to Disney’s new streaming service. Out of these titles, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow will finally get her long begged for solo film. The first Asian lead in a superhero film will be introduced with “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.” And, not only is “Thor 4” confirmed with Taika Waititi directing, but Natalie Portman is back as Jane Foster, and wielding Thor’s hammer no less. If that amazing batch of news wasn’t enough, the Marvel panel had one more surprise – the character of Blade is coming back to the big screen, with Oscar winner Mahershala Ali taking up the mantle. 


  1. Boldly going forward, CBS All Access previewed season three of “Star Trek: Discovery,” throwing its characters into a whirlwind of new adventures. But, it can’t be universe-altering drama all the time, which is where the new animated comedy “Star Trek: Lower Decks” comes in, following “the support crew serving on one of Starfleet’s least important ships”. Maybe it will be “The Office” in space! However, the most hype surrounded the trailer for the release of the new series “Star Trek: Picard.” It follows Patrick Stewart reigniting the character of Jean Luc Picard from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” considered by many to be the best captain of the franchise.


  1. Trailers, trailers, trailers! There were so many trailers released, it’s impossible to talk about all of them at once. You have to see them to believe. You can watch the biggest SDCC trailers here. Just a few included are “IT: Chapter 2”, “His Dark Materials”, “Snowpiercer”, and HBO’s “Watchmen.” 


  1. Lastly, in one of the more plot-twisty plot twists of the convention, news broke that Brandon Routh will once again don the red cape of Superman on “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” an Arrowverse crossover event. “Arrow”. Yep – that Brandon Routh, star of the 2006 film “Superman Returns,” which received a tepid response from critics and moviegoers alike. Few outright blamed Routh for its problems, leaving a question as to what he could have done with the role long term. With the final season of The CW’s “Arrow” television show pulling out all the stops for its conclusion, both Brandon Routh and Tyler Hoechlin’s versions of Superman will be featured in what we can only assume is a “Into the Spider-verse”-esque send off the series.


What are you most excited about in the upcoming year? We’d love to know. And remember, the UNT Media Library has all sorts of pop culture films and shows like the ones featured at SDCC every year. Browse our catalog online to find your next favorite. 


Posted by & filed under Media Library, Movie Recommendations, Uncategorized.


The UNT Media Library recently purchased the full collection of films by filmmaker Barbara Hammer. She was a pioneer of her time, documenting LGBT+ history often with an autobiographical viewpoint and creating over 80 feature length and short films over the span of her lifelong career. Experimental in nature, her films often tested the limits of her cameras and continue to challenge viewers to see things from her unique vantage point.


Here’s just a few of the films in the Media Library collection you can check out:


Tender Fictions: An autobiographical film tracing the life of the filmmaker, including historical footage and stills from pre-Stonewall lesbian history, and other icons of her youth. Hammer challenges a younger generation to visualize a world before they existed.


My Babushka — Searching Ukrainian Identities: Barbara Hammer goes to her ancestral village in the Ukraine in search of her roots.


A Horse is Not a Metaphor: The filmmaker, fighting ovarian cancer, stage 3, returns to her experimental roots, in a multilayered film of numerous chemotherapy sessions with images of light and movement that take her far from the hospital bed. Ms. Hammer changes illness into recovery.


Welcome To This House: A feature documentary film on the homes and loves of poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), about life in the shadows, and the anxiety of art making without full self-disclosure. Hammer filmed in Bishop’s ‘best loved homes’ in the US, Canada, and Brazil believing that buildings and landscapes bear cultural memories. 


Nitrate Kisses: A film with striking images of four gay and lesbian couples with footage of an unearthed forbidden and invisible history. Archival footage from the first gay film in the U.S., Lot In Sodom (1933) is interwoven in this haunting documentary.


To learn more about Barbara Hammer, read her biography here.





Posted by & filed under Movie Recommendations, Television Recommendations, Uncategorized.

May is Mental Health Awareness month. Movies, TV shows and games can be great escapes in trying times. Many are even structured to help facilitate greater mental health practices, from documentaries that foster discussions, to video games designed for therapeutic purposes. We invite everyone to check out the UNT Media Library’s resources to help improve your own mental health in the hopes of erasing the stigma surrounding it. Below, the Media Library staff have shared a few of their go-to films and games for getting through difficulties. Feel free to add your own in the comments.


Julia: Stardew Valley (Game 904 PS4). It’s fun, relaxing, and can really help take your mind off things!


Jeremy: Einstein: His Amazing Life and Incomparable Science – Boardgame 601. Einstein is a game of shapes and patterns. You and your friends play Einstein at different stages of his life, trying to recreate his scientific and mathematical discoveries and theorems. This abstract game creates an artistic space where collaboration and competition combine to stretch the mind. There is a relaxing element of placing tangram like tiles to create shapes as efficiently as possible. The ability to engage my mind on something constructive yet low stakes is the ultimate definition of de-stress for me.


Rachel: Cowboy Bebop Remix: DVD 12520 v.1) & Samurai Champloo, the complete series. (DVD 18074 v.1) These are two classic animes that have superb soundtracks, story lines, and characters. I go back to these when I need something to take my mind off the bus, day-to-day mayhem.


Rachel: Fire emblem: Birthright (Game 701 3DS) & Fire emblem: Conquest (Game 7000 3DS). I’m a huge fire emblem nerd so if i’m stressed I’ll sit down and play a game through on the easiest setting. Birthright is the superior game by the way.


Sarah: My go to chill movie is Thor: Ragnarok (DVD 18505 or DVD 18506 Blu-ray).


Estela: The Good Place, (DVD 17824 V1.-2). When Eleanor Shellstrop finds herself in the afterlife, she’s both relieved and surprised that she’s made it into the Good Place. But it doesn’t take long for Eleanor to realize she’s there by mistake.


Stu: A good film that has helped me and makes me happy (also a little sad) but ultimately happy is Elling. (DVD 1430).


Stuart: We Happy Few: We Happy Few is the tale of a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial. Set in a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England, you’ll have to blend in with its other inhabitants, who have their own set of not-so-normal rules.

Posted by & filed under Board Games, Media Library, Movie Recommendations.

This week, humankind celebrates with Katie Bouman and her team as we get our first look at a black hole. Our first look into the dark abyss was heralded in media over the last century. Join the rest of humanity with a look into how we have perceived these massive gravity sinks through the lenses of film and games!

The Black Hole – DVD 4002

  • While exploring the galaxy, the USS Palomino encounters a black hole and an orbiting ghost ship, the USS Cygnus. While investigating, the Palomino is damaged, and they must dock with the Cygnus to make their repairs. What the find on board quickly answers what happened to their fateful crew.

Monster of the Milky Way – DVD 15150

  • In the center of our galaxy sits one of the most destructive objects in the universe. It’s gravitational pull serves as the very force holding our galaxy together. The black hole that binds the Milky Way together remains one of the greatest secret keepers known to science. Journey with a group of astronomers as they seek evidence that could answer many of the most pressing questions in physics today.

The Theory of Everything – DVD 16024

  • When studying black holes, it is difficult to do so without referencing the work of Stephen Hawking. Journey alongside the brilliant mind that inspired most astrophysicists today with this biopic. From falling in love, to his fateful diagnosis, this journey will inspire as much as it tugs at the heartstrings.

Interstellar – DVD 16162

  • With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history; traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars.

Event Horizon – DVD 10735

  • Many years ago, we sent out a high tech pioneering spacecraft, but it disappeared without a trace. It has recently reappeared, and a team is dispatched to investigate the ship. However, something sinister resides upon the ship. What befell the Event Horizon on its voyage?

Eons – Boardgame 342

  • The universe is a massive place, filled with stars, planets, and matter scattered through the vastness of eternity. Over millennia, it spreads further and entropy disperses. Play the hand of a being so powerful, it sees the building blocks of the universe as clay, and planets and stars as marbles. Create, combine, and destroy galaxies as you compete against other beings like yourself. Will your planets develop life, or will an interstellar event turn your largest star into a black hole, decimating everything you built?

Twilight Imperium – Boardgame 606

  • The galactic council has been dissolved, and the Lazax have been scattered through the galaxy. With no unifying force holding the different sentient races together, each falls to their own desire for supremacy. Lead the Xxcha to political power, or dominate trade with the Hacan. Can you cease Mecatol Rex, or will your ships be caught in the gravitational tides of a black hole?

Chaosmos – Boardgame 283

  • For billions of years, the universe expanded; however, the gravitational force of all of the matter in the universe was too great to allow expansion to go on forever. For billions of years afterwards, matter has been collapsing back into a singular place, the very spot where the universe was born. But there is hope. The Ovoid is an object of immense power. It cannot save you, but it can give you control of how the next universe will form. Can you be the one holding the Ovoid when the universe finally crunches back in upon itself into a singularly massive black hole?

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This April, the UNT Media Library highlights the films, shows, & games that explore Alternate Histories – a.k.a. the What If narratives that help us understand & appreciate our past by deviating from it altogether.


Monty Python and the Holy Grail: (Recommended by Erin) King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table embark on a surreal, low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles. DVD 10302


Bioshock Trilogy: (Recommended by Stuart) BioShock includes elements of role-playing games, giving the player different approaches in engaging enemies such as by stealth, as well as moral choices of saving or killing characters; additionally, the game and biopunk theme borrow concepts from the survival horror genre. Game 490 


Inglourious Basterds: (Recommended by Lindsay) In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same. DVD 16064


District 9: (Recommended by Stuart) An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology. 

DVD 10918


Back to the Future: (Recommended by Sarah) Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown. DVD 16283


Red Dawn: (Recommended by Sarah) It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers and together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces. DVD 9374

Looper: (Recommended by Sarah) In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits – someone like Joe – who one day learns the mob wants to ‘close the loop’ by sending back Joe’s future self for assassination.


Abraham Lincoln — Vampire Hunter: (Recommended by Rachel) Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them. DVD 13783


Wolfenstein: (Recommended by Rachel) A series of games set in World War II in which the player controls an unnamed American prisoner of war as he steals German files containing secret war plans. Game 596


Raiders of the Lost Arc: (Recommended by Lindsay)The first installment of a series starring Harrison Ford as archaeologist Indiana Jones, who battles a group of Nazis searching for the Ark of the Covenant. DVD 16293


Stranger Things: (Recommended by Rachel) When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back. DVD 17895 


Unexploded Cow: (Recommended by Jeremy) A card game in which the objective is to blow up unexploded bombs in France with mad cows from Britain, earning money in the process. 

Boardgame 618