The American Journal of Play published a review of The Video Game Debate this week. Taking a scholarly approach, Patrick Markey (Villanova University) does a great job of overviewing what The Video Game Debate… does and does not address. Perhaps surprisingly, Dr. Markey rightfully points out that The Video Game Debate… does not truly debate video game effects, but rather provides a general overview of the current trends in video game effects research. I think that the reason that the debate gets a bit lost in the volume is because the debates about media effects have mostly been settled within the academic community. In fact, I would argue that today you would find that most game studies scholars agree with the following statement:
Video games are simply one of many (media) factors that can influence our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors but its capability to do so is far less than more direct influences such as family and peer relationships or a whole host of other environmental factors.
In reality, there remains only a small (but very vocal) group of scholars that continues to contend that mass media (television, film, and video games) has the capacity to influence our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors above and beyond other demographic or proximal factors.