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.

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.