Video Games and

Press Start

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.

“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