The Gaming Mind
A New Psychology of Videogames and the Power of Play
Are videogames bad for us?
It’s the question on everyone’s mind, given teenagers’ captive attention to videogames and the media’s tendency to scapegoat them. It’s also—if you ask clinical psychologist Alexander Kriss—the wrong question.
In his therapy office, Kriss looks at videogames as a window into the mind. Is his patient Liz really “addicted” to Candy Crush—or is she evading a deeper problem? Why would aspiring model Patricia craft a hideous avatar named “Pat”? And when Jack immerses himself in Mass Effect, is he eroding his social skills—or honing them via relationship-building gameplay?
Weaving together Kriss’s personal history, patients’ experiences, and professional insight—and without shying away from complex subjects, such as online harassment—The Gaming Mind disrupts our assumptions about “gamers” and explores how gaming can be good for us. It offers guidance for parents, clinicians, and the rest of us to better understand the gaming mind. Like any mode of play, at their best, videogames reveal who we are—and what we want from our lives.