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 studies…Continue reading »

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A Positive Outlook for Video Game Effects Research

Posted on March 23, 2017 @ 09:23 GMT in news

Editorials about the impact video games may or may not be having on our everyday lives tend to focus on the potential damaging effects, especially for children and adolescents. For example, they focus on links between violent video game play and violent crime or the inevitable dangers of video game addiction (although, both of these topics are scientifically tenuous - see here and here). Negatively slanted media coverage like this begs the question - how can something that is designed for fun, be so strongly…Continue reading »

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A Parent’s Guide to Video Games is a Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist

Posted on March 17, 2017 @ 10:17 GMT in news

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!

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#AskDrRachel, A New Monthly Column Hosted by Fangirl Magazine

Posted on March 11, 2017 @ 12:26 GMT in news

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 »


Sexism, Misogyny, and Harrasment in Online Games

Posted on February 28, 2017 @ 13:33 GMT in publications

Concern about sexism, misogyny, and harrassment in online games is of an ever growing concern among parents around the globe. This is perhaps because online games continue to grow in popularity among female players (in fact, a 2015 Pew Research study found females are more likely to own gaming consoles than men).

I address these concerns and (do my best…Continue reading »


Digital Heroin: A rebuttal

Posted on February 13, 2017 @ 10:03 GMT in OpEd

In August 2016, Dr. Nicholas Kardas published an article in the New York Post entitled “It’s ‘digital herion’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies”. In the opening paragraphs, he describes how playing Minecraft on an iPad quickly turned a 6-year old boy into an angry, obsessed, and addicted player.

Dr. Kardas goes on to explain that screen time has an inherently negative impact on children, as he states, “Many parents intuitively understand that ubiquitous glowing screens are having a negative effects on children”. But, according to Dr. Kardas, it is “even worse than we…Continue reading »


A Parent's Guide, Video Games, & Christmas

Posted on December 24, 2016 @ 13:34 GMT in news

This week, I visited my local Fox news studio to talk about A Parent’s Guide…, video games, and Christmas. A lot of parents…Continue reading »


A Parent’s Guide on KXAN

Posted on December 20, 2016 @ 15:18 GMT in news

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 »