Despite their popularity, online video games have been met with suspicion by the popular media and academic community. In particular, there is a growing concern that online video game play may be associated with deficits in social functioning. Due to a lack of empirical consistency, the debate surrounding the potential impact of online video game play on a user’s sociability remains an active one. This book contributes to this debate by exploring the potential impact of online video game involvement on social competence outcomes, theoretically and empirically. Through empirical research, Kowert examines the relationships between online video game involvement, social goals, and social skills and discusses the underlying mechanisms of these effects.
Table of Contents
1. Rising Social Concerns of Online Gaming 2. What is Social Competence? 3. Social Implications of Online Video Game Involvement 4. Social Goals, Social Skills, and Online Video Game Involvement 5. Social Skills and Video Game Involvement: A Replication 6. Social Skills, Insecure Attachment, and Video Game Involvement 7. Research Findings and Implications 8. Sociability and Online Video Games: What We Know Now
Rachel Kowert is an associate researcher at the University of Münster. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on the social impact of online gaming and serves on the board of DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association) and the Game Studies SIG of the International Communication Association (ICA).
"Our focus on video games has often been on moral issues, such as gaming and addiction. To date we know little about how games interact with players’ social space. Dr. Kowert’s book is an important investigation of how gaming impacts the socialization of players. This seminal work provides critical insights into this new medium and how it influences the way we interact on-line and in real-life." -- Christopher J. Ferguson, Stetson University, USA