The Video Game Debate 2 : Revisiting the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Video Games book cover
1st Edition

The Video Game Debate 2
Revisiting the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Video Games

ISBN 9780367366940
Published November 30, 2020 by Routledge
144 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This student-friendly book provides an accessible overview of the primary debates about the effects of video games. It expands on the original The Video Game Debate to address the new technologies that have emerged within the field of game studies over the last few years.

Debates about the negative effects of video game play have been evident since their introduction in the 1970s, but the advent of online and mobile gaming has revived these concerns, reinvigorating old debates and generating brand new ones. The Video Game Debate 2 draws from the latest research findings from the top scholars of digital games research to address these concerns. The book explores key developments such as virtual and augmented reality, the use of micro-transactions, the integration of loot boxes, and the growth of mobile gaming and games for change (serious games). Furthermore, several new chapters explore contemporary debates around e-sports, gamification, sex and gender discrimination in games, and the use of games in therapy.

This book offers students and scholars of games studies and digital media, as well as policymakers, the essential information they need to participate in the debate.

Table of Contents

1. Revisiting old debates 2. A brief overview of loot boxes in video gaming 3. Serious games: Play for change 4. Digital divides and structural inequalities: Exploring the technomasculine culture of gaming 5. Twitch and participatory cultures 6. Esports 7. Therapeutic use of video games 8. Extended Reality Therapy: The use of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality in mental health treatment 9. Mobile gaming 10. Concluding comments

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Rachel Kowert is the Research Director of Take This, a nonprofit organization that provides mental health information and resources to gaming communities and the gaming industry. She has been studying games and gamers for more than 10 years, with a specific focus on the social impact of digital game play. She has published numerous research articles and books on the topic, including A Parent's Guide to Video Games (2016), which won an INDIES award in science. For more information on Rachel and her research, please visit

Thorsten Quandt is Professor of Online Communication at the University of MĂĽnster and a distinguished scientist with extensive experience in digital games research, both nationally and internationally. He is the founding chair of the ECREA section on Digital Games Research, and the co-editor of essential books in game studies, including Multiplayer (2013), The Video Game Debate (2016), and New Perspectives on the Social Aspects of Digital Gaming (2017).


"The business and culture surrounding video games have not stopped evolving, and neither has researchers’ understanding of the new issues and debates that come with those changes. The experts in this book lay all them out in clear, well-supported summaries that leave the reader deeply informed."

Jamie Madigan, Author of The Engagement Game: Why Your Workplace Culture Should Look More Like a Video Game