The Video Game Debate 2

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Revisiting the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Video Games

The business and culture surrounding video games have not stopped evolving, and neither has researchers’ understanding of the new issues and debates that come with those changes. The experts in this book lay all them out in clear, well-supported summaries that leave the reader deeply informed.

Jamie Madigan, Author of The Engagement Game: Why Your Workplace Culture Should Look More Like a Video Game

This student-friendly book provides an accessible overview of the primary debates about the effects of video games. It expands on the original The Video Game Debate to address the new technologies that have emerged within the field of game studies over the last few years.

Debates about the negative effects of video game play have been evident since their introduction in the 1970s, but the advent of online and mobile gaming has revived these concerns, reinvigorating old debates and generating brand new ones. The Video Game Debate 2 draws from the latest research findings from the top scholars of digital games research to address these concerns. The book explores key developments such as virtual and augmented reality, the use of micro-transactions, the integration of loot boxes, and the growth of mobile gaming and games for change (serious games). Furthermore, several new chapters explore contemporary debates around e-sports, gamification, sex and gender discrimination in games, and the use of games in therapy.

This book offers students and scholars of games studies and digital media, as well as policymakers, the essential information they need to participate in the debate.

Video Games and Well-being

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Press Start

An authoritative and timely book which brings together researchers at the cutting edge of our understanding of video game effects. In an era in which video games are demonised and maligned, Press Start provides a refreshing corrective by revealing how digital play can help us all level up in positive and beneficial ways. Essential reading for anyone who wants to know about how video games can bring out the best in us.

Pete Etchells, Author of Lost in a Good Game

This book examines how video game mechanics and narratives can teach players skills associated with increased psychological well-being. It integrates research from psychology, education, ludology, media studies, and communication science to demonstrate how game play can teach skills that have long been associated with increased happiness and prolonged life satisfaction, including flexible thinking, openness to experience, self-care, a growth mindset, solution-focused thinking, mindfulness, persistence, self-discovery and resilience. The chapters in this volume are written by leading voices in the field of game studies, including researchers from academia, the video gaming industry, and mental health practitioners paving the way in the field of “geek therapy.” This book will advance our understanding of the potential of video games to increase our psychological well-being by helping to mitigate depression, anxiety, and stress and foster persistence, self-care, and resilience.

Pragmatic Princess

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26 Superb Stories of Self-Sufficiency

When the book arrived, it was soooo much bigger than I thought it was going to be. I love thick books and this was definitely that. The content and illustrations are amazing. There's texture to the cover which is great for little fingers. The kids and I love the stories and will cherish it for years to come. Definitely worth every penny! I highly recommend this book for everyone. Great life lessons and spotlight on self sufficiency.

Krista L. Koons, Amazon reviewer

An A-Z compilation of short stories about self-reliance designed for children aged 3-12+.

Within each story in Pragmatic Princess, the main character in is confronted with a typical childhood challenge (e.g., a fear of trying something new or schoolyard bullying) and models a wide range of skills and ideas to navigate these challenges, such as problem solving, flexible thinking, and resourcefulness. The use of real-world situations and a diverse cast helps foster observational learning and the successful acquisition of the skills modeled in each of the stories which span intellectual, social, emotional, and moral development.

Pragmatic Princess was developed to grow with the reader. The length of the story is short enough to keep the younger readers engaged, whilst the content becomes more relevant to the older children. Also, the use of a rhyming scheme helps support pre-reading literacy skills.

The characters of Pragmatic Princess were developed to represent a range of shapes, sizes, abilities and disabilities, and traditional and non-traditional families. It was important to incorporate diverse backgrounds into the characters’ lives for them to reflect the diverse world we live in. It was equally important that these details were not the central theme of the stories themselves as our shape, level of ability, and what our family unit looks like are just some of the many parts of who we are and not necessarily the defining feature of our stories.

For more on the science behind the development of these stories, see

New Perspectives on the Social Aspects of Digital Gaming

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Multiplayer 2

As with the previous volume, this book brings together an interesting and enlightening sampler of the latest original research on social aspects of digital games from talented new scholars and established leaders in the field. An excellent survey on where research on digital games is going, and where it should go.

Prof. James D. Ivory, Department of Communication, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Expanding on the work in the volume Multiplayer, this new book explores several other areas related to social gaming in detail. The aim is to go beyond a typical “edited book” concept, and offer a very concise volume with several focal points that are most relevant for the current debate about multiplayer games, both in academia and society. As a result, the volume offers the latest research findings on online gaming, social forms of gaming, identification, gender issues and games for change, primarily applying a social-scientific approach.

A Parent’s Guide to Video Games

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The essential guide to understanding how video games impact your child's physical, social, and psychological well-being

Dr. Rachel Kowert is an internationally respected expert on video games and youth. Her book fills a gap for parents made anxious by hyperbole and conflicting information about the pros and cons of games. This authoritative source will help parents feel more comfortable making media choices for their children.

Dr. Cheryl K. Olson, Co-founder of the Center for Mental Health and Media

Over the last twenty years, psychologists, sociologists, and media scholars have been working hard to answer these questions. Until now, their findings have largely remained insulated within scientific circles and inaccessible to the general public. A Parent’s Guide to Video Games breaks the long-standing barriers between science and society by providing the first comprehensive guide to the science behind the headlines.

A Parent’s Guide to Video Games is a Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award Winner (Honorable Mention, Science).

The Video Game Debate

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Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Video Games

This is a terrific introduction to the new wave of social science research on games and gamers, putting objectivity ahead of subjectivity, and open-mindedness ahead of dogma. For over a decade, there has been a widening gulf between research on the effects of video games and the experience of game-players themselves. Finally, with this book, we see media studies that aren’t themselves born of media effects – and it’s both revolutionary and revelatory.

Prof. Dr. Richard A. Bartle, University of Essex

Do video games cause violent, aggressive behavior? Can online games help us learn? When it comes to video games, these are often the types of questions raised by popular media, policy makers, scholars, and the general public. In this collection, international experts review the latest research findings in the field of digital game studies and weigh in on the actual physical, social, and psychological effects of video games. Taking a broad view of the industry from the moral panic of its early days up to recent controversies surrounding games like Grand Theft Auto, contributors explore the effects of games through a range of topics including health hazards/benefits, education, violence and aggression, addiction, cognitive performance, and gaming communities. Interdisciplinary and accessibly written, The Video Game Debate reveals that the arguments surrounding the game industry are far from black and white, and opens the door to richer conversation and debate amongst students, policy makers, and scholars alike.

Video Games and Social Competence

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Our focus on video games has often been on moral issues, such as gaming and addiction. To date we know little about how games interact with players’ social space. Dr. Kowert’s book is an important investigation of how gaming impacts the socialization of players. This seminal work provides critical insights into this new medium and how it influences the way we interact on-line and in real-life.

Prof. Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson, Stetson University

Despite their popularity, online video games have been met with suspicion by the popular media and academic community. In particular, there is a growing concern that online video game play may be associated with deficits in social functioning. Due to a lack of empirical consistency, the debate surrounding the potential impact of online video game play on a user’s sociability remains an active one. This book contributes to this debate by exploring the potential impact of online video game involvement on social competence outcomes, theoretically and empirically. Through empirical research, Kowert examines the relationships between online video game involvement, social goals, and social skills and discusses the underlying mechanisms of these effects.