The Five Dimensions of Video Game Effects on Players

Monday, September 10, 2012 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 

Gold Room, Hilton Garden Inn, 1325 Dickenson Avenue, Ames

September 10, 2012

Douglas Gentile, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Video games are at the center of a debate over what is helpful or harmful to children and adolescents, and there is research to substantiate both sides. The existing research suggests that there are at least five dimensions on which video games can affect players: the amount of play, the content of play, the game context, the structure of the game, and the mechanics of game play. This talk describes each of these five dimensions with examples, arguing that this approach can allow people to get beyond the typical “good/bad” dichotomous thinking to have a more nuanced understanding of video game effects.