Games and Spirituality

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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Beware of 'Digital Heroin' Clickbait

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 »


ICYMI: New Game Studies Books

What a time to be someone who…Continue reading »

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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 »


Sexism, Misogyny, and Harrasment in Online Games

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

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

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 »


New Book Alert: A Parent's Guide to Video Games

My new book, A Parent’s Guide to Video Games: The essential guide to understanding how video games impact your child’s physical, social, and psychological well-being, was released this week!

Despite the fact that video games have been in our everyday lives for almost 40 years now, the world of video games remains a treacherous place for many parents. Always…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 »


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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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 »


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 »


#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 »