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.
Rachel Kowert received her PhD in Psychology from the University of York (UK), where her research focused on the relationships between social competence and online video game involvement. Thorsten Quandt holds the chair of Online Communication at the University of Munster (Germany) and is a distinguished scientist with extensive experience in digital games research.
1. A Brief History of Video Games James D. Ivory 2. The Rise (and Refinement) of Moral Panic Nicholas D. Bowman 3. Are Electronic Games Health Hazards or Health Promoters? Cheryl K. Olson 4. The Influence of Digital Games on Aggression and Violent Crime Mark Coulson and Christopher J. Ferguson 5. Gaming Addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder Mark D. Griffiths 6. Social outcomes: Online game play, social currency, and social ability Rachel Kowert 7. Debating How to Learn From Video Games John L. Sherry 8. Video Games and Cognitive Performance Gillian Dale and C. Shawn Green 9. Exploring Gaming Communities Frans Mayra 10. No black and white in video game land! Why we need to move beyond simple explanations in the video game debate Thorsten Quandt and Rachel Kowert