Posted on August 02, 2018 @ 10:44 GMT
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 »
Posted on March 18, 2018 @ 19:03 GMT
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.…Continue reading »
Posted on October 16, 2017 @ 16:13 GMT
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 »
Posted on October 07, 2017 @ 14:10 GMT
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 »
Posted on July 18, 2017 @ 15:46 GMT
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 »
Posted on June 24, 2017 @ 16:11 GMT
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 »
Posted on April 30, 2017 @ 20:24 GMT
What a time to be someone who…Continue reading »
Posted on March 17, 2017 @ 10:17 GMT
I am so proud to announce that A Parent’s Guide to Video Games has been selected as a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award in the science category! With over 2250 entries to the INDIES awards this year, it was a particularly competitive competition! The winners for each category will be announced in June - fingers crossed!…Continue reading »
Posted on March 11, 2017 @ 12:26 GMT
I am proud to announce that I will be contributing a new monthly column to Fangirl Magazine called “Ask Dr. Rachel!”. In it, I will be fielding questions posed through social media about all things video games, and game studies, with a focus on media effects questions.
Have a question?…Continue reading »
Posted on December 24, 2016 @ 13:34 GMT
Posted on December 20, 2016 @ 15:18 GMT
This morning I had the pleasure of talking about A Parent’s Guide to Video Games on my local NBC affiliate news station. It is especially important to talk about video games this time of year, as many parents are scrambling to get their children’s favourite games and game consoles under the tree.
It may seem surprising to some that video games is still seen as a treacherous place for many parents despite the fact that they have been in our everyday lives for the last 30 to 40 years or so. However, turn on the news at any given hour and you will likely see way. Stories about…Continue reading »
Posted on August 04, 2016 @ 19:50 GMT
The American Journal of Play published a review of The Video Game Debate this week. Taking a scholarly approach, Patrick Markey (Villanova University) does a great job of overviewing what The Video Game Debate… does and does not address. Perhaps surprisingly, Dr. Markey rightfully points out that The Video Game Debate… does not truly debate video game effects, but rather provides a general overview of the current…Continue reading »
Posted on July 19, 2016 @ 12:49 GMT
Recently, I have started to take on some research and design consultancy work. This has allowed me to continue my work in the field of psychology/game studies as well as dabble in specific areas of research I may not…Continue reading »
Posted on May 09, 2016 @ 08:19 GMT
In 2013, I attended the annual meeting of the International Communication Association in London, England. On the first day of this week-long event, I attended a fascinating talk by Jayne Gackenbach (Grant MacEwan University). In her presentation, entitled “Nightmare Protection as Motivation to Play Video Games”, she discussed the potential for video games to protect against nightmares as well as their potential use as a viable treatment option for PTSD. At the time, her research was cutting edge. Very few individuals in the scientific community were exploring the possibility of using…Continue reading »
Posted on April 29, 2016 @ 15:43 GMT
This week Massively OP published an op-ed on understanding video game research. It does a really great job of outlining what is important to pay attention to when digesting this kind of research as well as what should potentially be questioned when interpreting the (negative) findings that we often seen strewn across the headlines. For anyone with an interest in video game research, I highly recommend checking it out!
You can find the article…Continue reading »
Posted on February 16, 2016 @ 10:34 GMT
Over the last few months, Massively Overpowered (previously known as Massively) has been publishing a series of articles focusing on various chapters within my new book, The Video Game Debate…. These articles do a great job of breaking down the main arguments that are put forth throughout the book and linking them with MMO play specifically. If you haven’t taken the plunge and purchased The…Continue reading »
Posted on January 04, 2016 @ 11:31 GMT
When tragedies such as mass shootings occur, blame is often placed (at least partially) on video games (see here and here). As interactive spaces, video games – and violent video games in particular – are often at the centre of the debate,…Continue reading »
Posted on December 19, 2015 @ 20:41 GMT
I am often asked for advice about how to be a smart shopper when buying video games. With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it was a good time to post the advice I have been anecdotally sharing with my close friends and family over the last few weeks.
Below…Continue reading »
Posted on December 16, 2015 @ 10:01 GMT
This week I joined the team at Computer America (the longest running nationally syndicated radio show on computers and technology) to talk about “The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social and Psychological Effects of Digital Games”.
Lucky for us, Computer America is not only broadcast on…Continue reading »
Posted on September 17, 2015 @ 14:11 GMT
New Book Announcement: The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Digital Games (Kowert & Quandt, Eds).
Prof. Thorsten Quandt and I are proud to announce the release of The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Digital Games. Now, for the first time, you can catch up with the state of the…Continue reading »
Posted on June 22, 2015 @ 10:41 GMT
Moral panics relating to video games have been spiralling out of control for some time now. Grand Theft Auto causes school shootings, Leisure Suit Larry leads to a decline in societies morals, Bully teaches kids…Continue reading »
Posted on April 09, 2015 @ 12:51 GMT
From the over sexualized characters in fighting games, such as Dead or Alive or Ninja Gaiden, to the overuse of the damsel in distress trope in popular titles, such as the Super Mario series, the under- and misrepresentation of females in video games has been well documented in several content analyses. Cultivation theory suggests that long-term exposure to media content can affect perceptions of social realities in a way that they become more similar to the representations in the media and, in turn, impact one’s beliefs and attitudes. Previous studies on video…Continue reading »
Posted on February 09, 2015 @ 15:16 GMT
The popularization and affordability of Internet connectivity has changed the way video games are played by allowing individuals to connect worldwide in shared gaming spaces. These highly social environments allow players to connect, interact with, and learn from each other. This technology has greatly expanded video games’…Continue reading »
Posted on December 30, 2014 @ 14:04 GMT
This week, massively.com is featuring an article by Andrew Ross that overviews the last five years of my research journey. When I first decided to delve into the research side of psychology (as opposed to the more artsy, counselling side of the field), I knew that I wanted…Continue reading »
Posted on November 29, 2014 @ 19:52 GMT
In an attempt to combat some of the bad press that games, gaming, and gamers have received over the last few months (#GamerGate anyone?), Good Games Writing launched their #OrangeDot Campaign this month. The primary aim of this campaign was to help “take back this space we hold so dearly…” and spread positivity about games…Continue reading »
Posted on April 18, 2014 @ 14:31 GMT
For those who are not familiar with DiGRA Students, we are an international community of students and early career researchers studying digital games. I, and my co-founder Ashley O’Toole-Brown, developed this community with the hopes that it would become a valuable resource for developments in the field, professional networking, and disseminating research. Together we have achieved many milestones in the last two years, including the establishment of an active Facebook…Continue reading »
Posted on February 07, 2014 @ 18:16 GMT
What is a “gamer”? Who are “gamers”? How does one quantify the extent to which a person is or is not a “gamer”?
All of these questions have contributed to the recent “Gamer Identity Crisis”. I dicuss these issues and the future of the “gamer” in a guest blog post for VG Researcher (it can also be seen on Gamasutra).
Posted on July 12, 2013 @ 23:22 GMT
I, alongside my co-chair Ashley Brown, am happy to announce the launch of the new DiGRA students website. This website was established in the hopes of fostering an international community of researchers studying digital games. We hope that this website will soon…Continue reading »