ICYMI: New Game Studies Books

What a time to be someone who studies…Continue reading »

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A Positive Outlook for Video Game Effects Research

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

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

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 »


A Parent's Guide, Video Games, & Christmas

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

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 »


The American Journal of Play weighs in on the Video Game Debate

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 »


Independent Consulting

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 »


Exploring the Therapeutic Power of Video Games Among Veteran Communities

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 »


Understanding Video Game Research

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 »

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The Video Game Debate on MassivelyOP

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 »


Five Misconceptions About the Effects of Violent Video Game Play

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 »


Holiday Shopping Tips

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 »

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#VGDebate on Computer America

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 »

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The Video Game Debate

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 »


Violent Video Games and Violent Behavior

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 »

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Sexist Games = Sexist Gamers?

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 »


Video Games and Social Competence

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 »


Conducting Applicable Research

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 »


#OrangeDot Campaign

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 »


Ludodemia and Other DiGRA Student Resources

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 »


Tackling the Gamer Identity Crisis

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).

This article was featured on Game…Continue reading »


Introducing the New DiGRA Students Website

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 »

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