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Video Games Revisited

Video Games Revisited
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Author(s): Patricia M. Greenfield (University of California—Los Angeles, USA)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 20
Source title: Gaming and Simulations: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch119

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Abstract

When Greenfield wrote her chapter on video games in her 1994 landmark book Mind and Media, video games were played primarily in arcades, and popular opinion held that they were at best a waste of time and at worst dangerous technology sure to lead to increased aggression. As a cognitive psychologist and media scholar, she was interested in what was really going on in these games and brought the theoretical rigor and research tools of her discipline to bear on games and their cognitive effects on game players. Part anthropologist and part stranger in a strange land, she studied games and game players and played games herself. Her conclusions at the time were both surprising and prescient; research failed to support the common sense connection of games and violent behavior, and games in fact appeared to have cognitive benefits unseen by those who did not play them. Her conclusions both provided a glimpse of then-current research and laid the foundation for a rigorous empirical study of games and cognition. What is shocking upon rereading this chapter today is how relevant it remains and how many of the research possibilities remain largely unexplored. Her chapter is reprinted here along with her current analysis and thoughts about her original ideas, 25 years later. Its placement as the first chapter in a book dedicated to cognitive perspectives on games is appropriate, both as a reminder of where we come from and how far we have yet to go.

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