What impact can video games have on us as players? How does psychology influence video game creation? Why do some games become cultural phenomena?
The Psychology of Video Games introduces the curious reader to the relationship between psychology and video games from the perspective of both game makers and players. Assuming no specialist knowledge, this concise, approachable guide is a starter book for anyone intrigued by what makes video games engaging and what is their psychological impact on gamers. It digests the research exploring the benefits gaming can have on players in relation to education and healthcare, considers the concerns over potential negative impacts such as pathological gaming, and concludes with some ethics considerations.
With gaming being one of the most popular forms of entertainment today, The Psychology of Video Games shows the importance of understanding the human brain and its mental processes to foster ethical and inclusive video games.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Our brains on video games
Chapter 2: Game User Experience
Chapter 3: Can playing video games be beneficial?
Chapter 4: Can playing video games be detrimental?
Chapter 5: Ethics in the video game industry
Celia Hodent is a PhD in psychology and an independent consultant, providing guidance on the topics of game user experience (UX), ethics, and inclusion. She has over 10 years' experience working with game studios, including Ubisoft, LucasArts, and Epic Games (Fortnite).
In her new book, Celia Hodent offers a brilliant journey into the psychology of videogames. This book provides not only an insightful analysis of the psychological processes engaged in all types of games but also how to nurture such processes to make videogames fun and meaningful for the players. Importantly, Celia Hodent doesn’t shy away from the difficult questions: she discusses thoroughly, in a honest and scientific way, the potential benefits and negative effects of videogames and the ethical issues raised by using psychology to create videogames. A definite must-have for all the gaming community but also for everyone interested on the growing role that psychology and psychologists play in UX.
Grégoire Borst, Professor of Developmental Psychology, Université de Paris, and Director of LaPsyDÉ (CNRS), France
The Psychology of Video Games is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the vast and pixelated minefield of video game research. It not only gets under the psychological hood of why we play games, but also how these games impact both players and society. Readers will quickly discover that, like the tiny-round classic video game character Kirby, The Psychology of Video Games is filled with way more information than seems possible given its concise size.
Patrick M. Markey, Professor of Psychology at Villanova University and coauthor of Moral Combat: Why the War on Violent Video Games Is Wrong
It’s been said that good video games are engaging because they are actually psychology at play. Nowhere is that more evident than in Celia Hodent’s latest book, The Psychology of Video Games. Thought-provoking and fascinating, her book provides a practical and empirical case for why we find video games so enjoyable to play. If you want to know more about the intersectionality of cognitive neuroscience and user-centered design, look no further!
Matthew Farber, Ed.D., Assistant Professor at University of Northern Colorado, author of Gamify Your Classroom and Game-Based Learning in Action.