The Gaming Mind: A New Psychology of Videogames and the Power of Play

October 31, 2020
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’ captiveattention to videogames and the media’s tendency to scapegoat them.It’s also—if you ask clinical psychologist Alexander Kriss—thewrong question.In his therapy office, Kriss looks at videogames as a windowinto the mind. Is his patient Liz really “addicted” to CandyCrush—or is she evading a deeper problem? Why would aspiring modelPatricia craft a hideous avatar named “Pat”? And when Jack immerseshimself in Mass Effect, is he eroding his social skills—or honingthem via relationship-building gameplay?Weaving together Kriss’s personal history, patients’experiences, and professional insight—and without shying away fromcomplex subjects, such as online harassment—The Gaming Minddisrupts our assumptions about “gamers” and explores how gaming canbe good for us. It offers guidance for parents, clinicians, and therest of us to better understand the gaming mind. Like any mode ofplay, at their best, videogames reveal who we are—and what we wantfrom our lives.