#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 »


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 »


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 »


Gamer Identities

What is a “gamer”? And what does it mean to be a gamer today?

These questions are ones that have been nagging me for some time now. While the term “gamer” is often thrown around as a synonym for “player”, to me these concepts are vastly different. While I would argue that a player is someone who plays videos games, the term gamer refers to one’s social identity with a community of players.

Over the last few years, I have wanted to explore the gamer identity on a deeper, theoretical level and this week in a…Continue reading »


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 »


Social Inclusion and Video Game Enjoyment

Video games have long been understood as an entertaining and popular medium, and recent work has suggested that at least part of their appeal rests in their ability to foster feelings of sociability and belonging with others. Because of this, one would expect that following an episode of social ostracism, playing video games with other people would be an enjoyable experience due the game’s ability to restore one’s social needs. This question was explored in my latest publication,…Continue reading »


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 »


Psychosocial Causes and Consequences of Online Video Game Play

Researchers have grown concerned as to whether or not engagement within online…Continue reading »


Playing for Social Comfort

Internet connectivity has changed the way that video games are being played by allowing users to connect worldwide in shared gaming spaces. These highly social environments allow players to connect, interact, and learn from each other. Despite this, there is a growing concern that online video game play contributes to a displacement of real-world connections and interactions. Over time, this displacement is believed to lead to a wide variety of losses in “offline sociability”, such as a reduction in the size and quality…Continue reading »


Social Gaming, Lonely Life?

In recent years, there have been rising concerns about the potential negative social impact of online video games, particularly in relation to adolescent players. While there has been a wealth of research in this area, none has yet to provide information relating to the potential broad social changes that may occur due to extended online video game play through social displacement mechanisms. In this context, social…Continue reading »


Online Gaming Friendships among Emotionally Sensitive Individuals

With the advent of new social technologies, researchers have become increasingly interested in the functionality of mediated social spaces as environments where individuals can meet new people and gather with old friends. Due to their accessibility and the range of social affordances provided by these spaces (i.e., visual anonymity, asynchronicity), mediated social environments (i.e., chat rooms, online forums, online games) are believed to be particularly valuable…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 »


Reconsidering the Stereotype of Online Gamers

Turn on the TV at any given hour and you are bound to find a reference…Continue reading »