Video games are big business. They can be addicting. They are available almost anywhere you go and are appealing to people of all ages. They can eat up our time, cost us money, even kill our relationships. But it’s not all bad! This book will show that rather than being a waste of time, video games can help us develop skills, make friends, succeed at work, form good habits, and be happy. Taking the time to learn what’s happening in our heads as we play and shop allows us to approach games and gaming communities on our own terms and get more out of them. With sales in the tens of billions of dollars each year, just about everybody is playing some kind of video game whether it's on a console, a computer, a web browser, or a phone. Much of the medium’s success is built on careful (though sometimes unwitting) adherence to basic principles of psychology. This is something that’s becoming even more important as games become more social, interactive, and sophisticated. This book offers something unique to the millions of people who play or design games: how to use an understanding of psychology to be a better part of their gaming communities, to avoid being manipulated when they shop and play, and to get the most enjoyment out of playing games. With examples from the games themselves, Jamie Madigan offers a fuller understanding of the impact of games on our psychology and the influence of psychology on our games.
What impact can video games have on players? How does psychology influence video game creation? Why do some games become cultural phenomena? The Psychology of Video Games explores the relationship between psychology and video games from the perspective of both game developers and players. It looks at how games are made and what makes them fun and successful, the benefits gaming can have on players in relation to education and healthcare, concerns over potential negative impacts such as pathological gaming, and ethics considerations. With gaming being one of the most popular forms of entertainment today, The Psychology of Video Games shows the important role played by an understanding of the human brain and its mental processes in the development of ethical and inclusive video games.
Even as the popularity of videogames has skyrocketed, a dark cloud continues to hang over them. Many people who play games feel embarrassed to admit as much, and many who don't worry about the long-term effects of a medium often portrayed as dangerous and corruptive. Drawing on years of experience working directly with people who play games, clinical psychologist Alexander Kriss steers the discourse away from extreme and factually inaccurate claims around the role of games in addiction, violence and mental illness, instead focusing on the importance of understanding the unique relationship that forms between a game and its player. Through vivid psychotherapy case illustrations, autobiographical memoir, and a wide range of psychological theory and research, Universal Play lays out an honest and humanistic vision of games, their potentials and risks, and how they can teach us more about who we are and who we could be.
From security training simulations to war games to role-playing games, to sports games to gambling, playing video games has become a social phenomena, and the increasing number of players that cross gender, culture, and age is on a dramatic upward trajectory. Playing Video Games: Motives, Responses, and Consequences integrates communication, psychology, and technology to examine the psychological and mediated aspects of playing video games. It is the first volume to delve deeply into these aspects of computer game play. It fits squarely into the media psychology arm of entertainment studies, the next big wave in media studies. The book targets one of the most popular and pervasive media in modern times, and it will serve to define the area of study and provide a theoretical spine for future research. This unique and timely volume will appeal to scholars, researchers, and graduate students in media studies and mass communication, psychology, and marketing.
This book addresses the ongoing scientific debates regarding video games and their effects on players. The book features opposing perspectives and offers point and counterpoint exchanges in which researchers on both sides of a specific topic make their best case for their findings and analysis. Chapters cover both positive and negative effects of video games on players’ behavior and cognition, from contributing to violence and alienation to promoting therapeutic outcomes for types of cognitive dysfunction. The contrasting viewpoints model presents respectful scientific debate, encourages open dialogue, and allows readers to come to informed conclusions. Key questions addressed include: · Do violent video games promote violence? · Does video game addiction exist? · Should parents limit children’s use of interactive media? · Do action video games promote visual attention? · Does sexist content in video games promote misogyny in real life? · Can video games slow the progress of dementia? · Are video games socially isolating? Video Game Influences on Aggression, Cognition, and Attention is a must-have resource for researchers, clinicians and professionals as well as graduate students in developmental psychology, social work, educational policy and politics, criminology/criminal justice, child and school psychology, sociology, media law, and other related disciplines.
With video game sales in the billions and anxious concerns about their long-term effects growing louder, "Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound" brings something new to the discussion. It is the first truly balanced research-based analysis on the games and gamers, addressing both the positive and negative aspects of habitual playing by drawing on significant recent studies and established motivational theory. Filled with examples from popular games and the real experiences of gamers themselves, "Glued to Games" gets to the heart of gaming's powerful psychological and emotional allure--the benefits as well as the dangers. It gives everyone from researchers to parents to gamers themselves a clearer understanding the psychology of gaming, while offering prescriptions for healthier, more enjoyable games and gaming experiences.
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.
This book provides an introduction and overview of the increasingly important topic of gamer psychology and behavior by presenting a range of theoretic perspectives and empirical evidence casting new light on understanding gamer behavior and designing interactive gaming experiences that maximize fun. This book aims to provide a snapshot on research approaches/advances in player psychology and behavior, discuss issues, solutions, challenges, and needs for player behavior research, and report gameplay experience and lessons as well as industry case studies from both social sciences and engineering perspectives. The nine chapters in this book, which are divided into three sections: Neuro-Psychology and Gaming; Player Behavior and Gameplay; Player Psychology and Motivations, do not represent all the topics in the psychology of gaming, however, they include a variety of topics in this field: the effects of violent video games on cognitive processes, the reward systems in the human brain and the concept of 'fun', goal-directed player behavior and game choices, psychological player profiling techniques, game design requirements and player psychology, motivational gamer profiles, and many more. This book is suitable for students and professionals with different disciplinary backgrounds such as computer science, design, software engineering, psychology, interactive media, and information systems. Students will be interested in the theory of gamer psychology and its impact on game design. Professionals will be interested in the fundamentals of gamer behavior and how interactive virtual environments can improve user experience.
Violent video games are successfully marketed to and easily obtained by children and adolescents. Even the U.S. government distributes one such game, America's Army, through both the internet and its recruiting offices. Is there any scientific evidence to support the claims that violent games contribute to aggressive and violent behavior? As the first book to unite empirical research on and public policy options for violent video games, Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents will be an invaluable resource for student and professional researchers in social and developmental psychology and media studies.
The author of the 400,000-copy bestseller On Killing reveals how violent video games have ushered in a new era of mass homicide -- and what we must do about it. Paducah, Kentucky, 1997: a 14-year-old boy shoots eight students in a prayer circle at his school. Littleton, Colorado, 1999: two high school seniors kill a teacher, twelve other students, and then themselves. Utoya, Norway, 2011: a political extremist shoots and kills sixty-nine participants in a youth summer camp. Newtown, Connecticut, 2012: a troubled 20-year-old man kills 20 children and six adults at the elementary school he once attended. What links these and other horrific acts of mass murder? A young person's obsession with video games that teach to kill. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who in his perennial bestseller On Killing revealed that most of us are not "natural born killers" - and who has spent decades training soldiers, police, and others who keep us secure to overcome the intrinsic human resistance to harming others and to use firearms responsibly when necessary - turns a laser focus on the threat posed to our society by violent video games. Drawing on crime statistics, cutting-edge social research, and scientific studies of the teenage brain, Col. Grossman shows how video games that depict antisocial, misanthropic, casually savage behavior can warp the mind - with potentially deadly results. His book will become the focus of a new national conversation about video games and the epidemic of mass murders that they have unleashed.
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.
This book is an academic work which reviews and critiques the research literature concerning violent games and their alleged effects on players. It examines the debates about the potential effects of these games and the divisions between scholars working in the field. It places the research on violent video games in the longer historical context of scholarly work on media violence. It examines research from around the world on the nature of video games and their effects. It provides a critique of relevant theories of media violence effects and in particular theories developed within the older media violence literature and then considers how useful this and newer scholarly work might be for policy-makers and regulators. The book identifies where gaps exist in the extent literature and where future research attention might be directed.
Making a successful video game is hard. Even games that are successful at launch may fail to engage and retain players in the long term due to issues with the user experience (UX) that they are delivering. The game user experience accounts for the whole experience players have with a video game, from first hearing about it to navigating menus and progressing in the game. UX as a discipline offers guidelines to assist developers in creating the experience they want to deliver, shipping higher quality games (whether it is an indie game, AAA game, or "serious game"), and meeting their business goals while staying true to their design and artistic intent. In a nutshell, UX is about understanding the gamer’s brain: understanding human capabilities and limitations to anticipate how a game will be perceived, the emotions it will elicit, how players will interact with it, and how engaging the experience will be. This book is designed to equip readers of all levels, from student to professional, with neuroscience knowledge and user experience guidelines and methodologies. These insights will help readers identify the ingredients for successful and engaging video games, empowering them to develop their own unique game recipe more efficiently, while providing a better experience for their audience. Key Features Provides an overview of how the brain learns and processes information by distilling research findings from cognitive science and psychology research in a very accessible way. Topics covered include: "neuromyths", perception, memory, attention, motivation, emotion, and learning. Includes numerous examples from released games of how scientific knowledge translates into game design, and how to use a UX framework in game development. Describes how UX can guide developers to improve the usability and the level of engagement a game provides to its target audience by using cognitive psychology knowledge, implementing human-computer interaction principles, and applying the scientific method (user research). Provides a practical definition of UX specifically applied to games, with a unique framework. Defines the most relevant pillars for good usability (ease of use) and good "engage-ability" (the ability of the game to be fun and engaging), translated into a practical checklist. Covers design thinking, game user research, game analytics, and UX strategy at both a project and studio level. Offers unique insights from a UX expert and PhD in psychology who has been working in the entertainment industry for over 10 years. This book is a practical tool that any professional game developer or student can use right away and includes the most complete overview of UX in games existing today.
James Newman's lucid, engaging introduction guides readers through the world of videogaming, providing a history of the videogame from its origins in the computer lab to its contemporary status as a global entertainment industry.
This volume compiles papers from the Young Academics Workshop at the Clash of Realities conferences of 2017 and 2018. The 2017 workshop - Perceiving Video Games - explored the video game medium by focusing on perception and meaning-making processes. The 2018 workshop - Reframing the Violence and Video Games Debate - transcended misleading claims that link video games and violent behavior by offering a range of fresh topical perspectives. From BA students to postdoctoral researchers, the young academics of this anthology stem from a spectrum of backgrounds, including game studies, game design, and phenomenology. This volume also features an entry by renowned psychologist Christopher J. Ferguson.
There is a growing recognition in the learning sciences that video games can no longer be seen as impediments to education, but rather, they can be developed to enhance learning. Educational and developmental psychologists, education researchers, media psychologists, and cognitive psychologists are now joining game designers and developers in seeking out new ways to use video game play in the classroom. In Learning by Playing, a diverse group of contributors provide perspectives on the most current thinking concerning the ramifications of leisure video game play for academic classroom learning. The first section of the text provides foundational understanding of the cognitive skills and content knowledge that children and adolescents acquire and refine during video game play. The second section explores game features that captivate and promote skills development among game players. The subsequent sections discuss children and adolescents' learning in the context of different types of games and the factors that contribute to transfer of learning from video game play to the classroom. These chapters then form the basis for the concluding section of the text: a specification of the most appropriate research agenda to investigate the academic potential of video game play, particularly using those games that child and adolescent players find most compelling. Contributors include researchers in education, learning sciences, and cognitive and developmental psychology, as well as instructional design researchers.
Can a video game make you cry? Why do you relate to the characters and how do you engage with the storyworlds they inhabit? How is your body engaged in play? How are your actions guided by sociocultural norms and experiences? Questions like these address a core aspect of digital gaming—the video game experience itself—and are of interest to many game scholars and designers. With psychological theories of cognition, affect and emotion as reference points, this collection of new essays offers various perspectives on how players think and feel about video games and how game design and analysis can build on these processes.
The rapid growth in popularity of computer and video games, particularly among children and teenagers, has given rise to public concern about the effects they might have on youngsters. The violent themes of many of these games, coupled with their interactive nature, have led to accusations that they may be worse than televised violence in affecting children's antisocial behaviour. Other allegations are that they have an addictive quality and that excessive playing results in a diminished social contact and poorer school performance. But how bad are video games? There are strong methodological reasons for not accepting the evidence for video games effects at face value. There are also positive signs that playing these games can enhance particular mental competencies in children. This book provides an up-to-date review and critique of research evidence from around the world in an attempt to put the issue of video game effects into perspective.
This book presents an overview of the emerging field of emotion in videogame soundtracking. The emotional impact of music has been well-documented, particularly when used to enhance the impact of a multimodal experience, such as combining images with audio as found in the videogames industry. Soundtracking videogames presents a unique challenge compared to traditional composition (for example film music) in that the narrative of gameplay is non-linear – Player dependent actions can change the narrative and thus the emotional characteristics required in the soundtrack. Historical approaches to emotion measurement, and the musical feature mapping and music selection that might be used in video game soundtracking are outlined, before a series of cutting edge examples are given. These examples include algorithmic composition techniques, automated emotion matching from biosensors, motion capture techniques, emotionally-targeted speech synthesis and signal processing, and automated repurposing of existing music (for example from a players own library). The book concludes with some possibilities for the future.
Video games have become an increasingly ubiquitous part of society due to the proliferation and use of mobile devices. Video Games and Creativity explores research on the relationship between video games and creativity with regard to play, learning, and game design. It answers such questions as: Can video games be used to develop or enhance creativity? Is there a place for video games in the classroom? What types of creativity are needed to develop video games? While video games can be sources of entertainment, the role of video games in the classroom has emerged as an important component of improving the education system. The research and development of game-based learning has revealed the power of using games to teach and promote learning. In parallel, the role and importance of creativity in everyday life has been identified as a requisite skill for success. Summarizes research relating to creativity and video games Incorporates creativity research on both game design and game play Discusses physical design, game mechanics, coding, and more Investigates how video games may encourage creative problem solving Highlights applications of video games for educational purposes