Video game loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling: A rebuttal

Posted on August 02, 2018 @ 10:44 GMT in news

In June 2018, a commentary article entitled “Video game loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling” by Aaron Drummond and James D. Sauer (2018) was published in Nature. The authors assess if loot boxes (i.e., purchasable randomized rewards in video games) are analogous to gambling and, if so, whether or not they should be regulated under the same legal terms.

In order to assess the similarity between loot boxes and gambling, the loot box elements of 22 select video games were evaluated against the unique criteria that distinguish gambling…Continue reading »


Pax West 2018

Posted on July 24, 2018 @ 09:12 GMT in conferences

In a few short weeks, I will be joining some of my favorite people at PAX West in Seattle, WA. This time around, I will be participating in two different panels.

On Saturday, I will be part of the The Psychology of The Legend of Zelda Franchise panel alongside Drs. Anthony Bean, Stephen Daniel, and Sarah Hays.

Link is thrust into his destiny of having to defeat evil by collecting items and tools throughout Hyrule, proving himself a hero and eventually leading to a showdown with a villain. However, his journey is not just as simple as defeating evil and saving the princess. There are multiple and significant psychological concepts at play throughout different variations of this video game. This panel will Link the psychological concepts found in each game for discussion…Continue reading »

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A Parent's Guide on Family Confidential

Posted on March 18, 2018 @ 19:03 GMT in news

Have a tween or teen obsessed with video games? Find yourself in a constant battle over how much your kids spend on video games?

Earlier in the year, I spoke with Annie Fox about A Parent’s Guide to Video Games about kids’ gaming, its effect on social and emotional development, and why we might not need to worry so much.

You can see the interview, here.

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Choose Your Friends Wisely

Posted on February 27, 2018 @ 15:17 GMT in Spotlight Session

When I was younger, my Mom would…Continue reading »


Dress Code Not Optional

Posted on January 10, 2018 @ 09:29 GMT in Spotlight Session

You know the old adage “dress for the job that you want”? I think we need to take that one step further and dress for the life that we want.

Here is an example: This morning I had a phone conference with a Kitsune client. As it was early this morning and over the phone, no one was going to be able to see if I was still wearing shirt with the syrup on it from my daughter’s waffles this morning. However,…Continue reading »


Games and Spirituality

Posted on October 16, 2017 @ 16:13 GMT in news

Back in August, I was interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer about the role that video games can play in spirituality. Specifically, how video games may help one connect with their spirituality and possibly induce feelings of transcendence.

This is a relatively new line of research, however, we do know that video games can give us what no other medium can - the unique ability to explore the roles of good and evil in a free (i.e., free from real-world repercussions) space. In no other medium are we able to enact the…Continue reading »

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Challenging Our Beliefs About Digital Parenting

Posted on October 07, 2017 @ 14:10 GMT in news

Later this month, I will be speaking at the BRAVE Women’s Conference about how to tackle the new challenges that come with parenting in a “digital” world. This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. As a mother of two, I find myself constantly challenging my own beliefs about the role that digital media plays in my and my childrens’ lives – and this is coming from someone that has studied digital media for more than 10 years!

I have spoken to many parents about this issue and found that there are range of concerns when it comes to “digital parenting”. How do I know if my child is being exposed to explicit content on the internet? At what age should I let my child use Facebook? Is SnapChat appropriate for my pre-teen? Should I let my child play video games?…Continue reading »


Beware of 'Digital Heroin' Clickbait

Posted on July 18, 2017 @ 15:46 GMT in news

This week a new article published by Psychology Today entitled “Parenting in the Era of Addictive Electronics” puts forward the assumption that “screen time, particularly the interactive kind acts like a stimulant, not unlike caffeine, amphetamines, or cocaine.” This is not the first article to make such claims, in fact I blogged a New York Post article a few months ago touting the same connections.

While I can get on board with the advice offered to parents in the Psychology Today article (especially #12), it needs to be clear that it is scientifically inaccurate to discuss screen time as analogous to drug addiction. This is a comparison makes a nice headline but these connections are tenuous, blown out of proportion, and only argued by a…Continue reading »


A Parent’s Guide wins Honourable Mention in Science at the INDIES

Posted on June 24, 2017 @ 16:11 GMT in news

This week the winners of the 2016 FOREWARD Review’s Indie book awards were announced and A Parent’s Guide to Video Games was awarded honourable mention in the science category! Selected from over 6000 submitted books, it was a huge honour to be shortlisted for an award and even more to win in the science category!

Still haven’t checked…Continue reading »


ICYMI: New Game Studies Books

Posted on April 30, 2017 @ 20:24 GMT in news

What a time to be someone who…Continue reading »

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