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VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? List of Episodes

  • Monday, April 15, 2013

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? - Racial representation and gaming

    My interviewee this time is André Brock from the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa. His recent article in Games and Culture called ‘‘When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong: Resident Evil 5, Racial Representation, and Gamers” was the topic of our conversation. Brock writes that, “videogames’ ability to depict cultural iconographies and characters have occasionally led to accusations of insensitivity.

  • Monday, March 11, 2013

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? - Violence and Video Game Play Revisited

    We revisit the question of video game play and subsequent violence in my interview with James Ivory. He writes that “much of my research focuses on the content and effects of new entertainment media such as video games. At Virginia Tech, I founded the VT G.A.M.E.R.

  • Monday, February 11, 2013

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? - Family Life and Video Game Play

    This time I spoke with Pål Aarsand who has a PhD in Child Studies and works as a senior lecturer at the Department of Education, Uppsala University, Sweden. His research interest is in young people’s use of digital technology in their everyday lives. He has focused on game/play, identities, the parent-child relation and digital competences. We had a lively conversation about how families are coping with the new play world of video games. We touched on parenting issues as well as problem versus healthy use in children.

  • Monday, January 14, 2013

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? - Problem Video Game Play and Genre

    Luther Elliott, of the Institute for Special Populations Research, National Development and Research Institutes, New York, NY, and I talked about his work on how video game genre might be a predictor of problem use. In an article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, he and his coauthors explored this new way of viewing problem use.

  • Monday, November 19, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain - What is a gamer identity or gamer culture?

    This time I spoke with Adreine Shaw who is at Temple University. We talked about her research into video game identity and culture. This came out in an article in Games and Culture and has been the most downloaded and read article in the journal in the last few years. The article, "What is Video Game Culture?" discusses gender, race, and sexuality which intersect with gamer identification.

  • Monday, October 15, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? - Video Game Technology Supporting the Elderly

    On this show I chat with Hannah Marston who coauthored an article “Interactive Videogame Technologies to Support Independence in the Elderly” which was recently published in the Games for Health Journal. Dr. Marston is with the Institute of Sport Gerontology, German Sport University Cologne.

  • Monday, September 17, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Draing? Women in Gaming

    The author of “Getting Women in the Game”, Shira Chess is the focus of my interview this time. She is a visiting professor at Department of Mass Communication, Miami University, Ohio. Her article appeared in the National Communication Associations journal, Communication Currents. Her article “analyzes the advertising strategy use to market video games to women.

  • Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain? - Culture-jamming activists in video games

    This show is a conversation with Dr. Roger Stahl who is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia. Dr. Stahl has just produced a film about how political activism is occurring inside video games.

  • Monday, July 16, 2012

    Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain? - A senior artists view of computers

    In this show we are chatting with Fiammetta Rubin of the Naturopathic Educational Services in Philadelphia, PA. This interview is a bit of a departure from the video game theme of this show. It’s about how a lifelong artist found computers and incorporated computers into her art. She explains that her “digital prints are produced by an Epson printer on Epson archival paper and inks.

  • Monday, June 18, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? - Transitioning between real and virtual

    In this show we will be discussing the borders between virtual and real. My guest is Dr. Greg Garvey who is with the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

  • Monday, May 28, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Consciousness and the Avatar

    Denise Doyle, of the School of Art and Design at the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom is my guest this time. I met up with Denise at the April 2012 “Towards a Science of Consciousness” meeting in Tucson, AZ. She is a contributor to my forthcoming book, “Video Game Play and Consciousness” from NOVA Science Publishers.

  • Monday, April 16, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Visual Arts and Gaming

    This week we’ll be discussing the relationship between the visual arts and gaming. Here I do not mean the graphic design of a game but rather how might gaming influence the artist in us all or perhaps increase our appreciation of the arts. My guest is John Sharp, who is with the Savannah College of Art and Design as well as Metagame. As an avid gamer himself, he brings a unique combination of backgrounds to this discussion. I was intrigued by his talk the “Secret (Art) History of Games” at a recent gaming conference. Dr.

  • Monday, April 2, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Music and Video Games

    Dr. William Gibbons, Assistant Professor of Musicology at Texas Christian University, chats with me about the role of music in video games. He comes from a classical music background to inform his work in the music associated with gaming. Dr. Gibbons primary research interests are opera studies and musical nationalism as well as music in video games. He has published on these topics in various professional journals and is currently co-editing a book which is a collection of essays on music in video games.

  • Monday, March 19, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Self-discovery with Mindbloom

    Our interview is with Chris Hewett, Founder & Executive Producer of a new social media and self-development tool, Mindbloom. A long time game designer and developer, Chris tells the story of the birth of Mindbloom. This free-to-play game is designed to inspire people to define what’s important, discover what motivates them, and take meaningful daily actions in all areas of their life.

  • Monday, March 5, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Casual Games for Improved Thinking in the Elderly

    This interview is with Garth Chouteau who oversees all surveys and research related to the health benefits of video games at PopCap Games. A casual game is one which is easy to learn, does not take much time to play, yet occupies enough attention to distract one from day to day ruminations. Previous casual game research we have spoken about on this show showed that casual game play is associated with relaxation as well as decreased depression and anxiety.

  • Monday, February 13, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Hello Avatar Author Interviewed

    This is Dr. Jayne Gackenbach and this week on Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain? we’ll be discussing avatars. What is an avatar? Classically they have been our characters in video games or in virtual worlds like Second Life, but our guest argues that avatars are now our online footprint. Beth Coleman, who received her PhD in comparative literature at New York University, is currently with Harvard and MIT.

  • Monday, January 30, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Games for Health Journal Founded

    This time we will be talking with the editor of a new journal devoted to games for health, Bill Ferguson. Premiering in February of 2012, Games for Health: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications, will offer original peer-reviewed research articles, as well as industry insights and developments. Additionally, interviews and commentary on the games for health initiative will be included in its pages.

  • Monday, January 16, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Attention, Memory and Information Processing Advantages to Gaming

    In this show we’ll be talking about various perceptual and cognitive advantages to gaming. Dr. Walter Boot is the director of the Attention and Training laboratory in the Department of Psychology at Florida State University. In his lab they have tested expert video game players versus newbie’s on a variety of attentional, memory and information processing tasks.

  • Monday, January 2, 2012

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Military and Gaming

    In this show the use of games in the military is explored. In a recent study in the journal, Military Psychology, it was found that 43% of their over 10,000 soldier respondents reported gaming on a weekly basis. These individuals were largely male, young, and of the lower ranks. Given that almost all young people have played or currently play some form of video game, this figure is likely to grow. My guest is Jeremy Hsu, who is the senior writer at Innovation News Daily.

  • Monday, December 19, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Horror in Film and Video Games

    In this show I am talking with Dr. Barry Grant, who is a professor in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. Our topic is horror in film and video games. As an expert and teacher in film genres, science fiction, and horror, as well as a game developer, Dr. Grant has an informed perspective on why horror is such a popular genre across various media.

  • Monday, December 5, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Personality and Video Game Violence

    Dr. Patrick Markey director of the Interpersonal Lab at Villanova University is interviewed. He has examined how personality can be a predictor of aggression resulting from gaming. He talks about three personality traits that are particularly likely to predict negative outcomes of violent video game play. You’ll learn what these are as well as how does situation affect aggressive modeling after gaming?

  • Monday, November 21, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Past and Future of Gaming

    There are two parts to this show. First the history of video game chapter is read from my forthcoming book, Playing Reality, by my coauthor who happens to be my son, Teace Snyder! As you know from earlier shows the reason that I got interested in video game play was because my son is a gamer but he is also a writer and film maker.

  • Monday, November 7, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Narrative and Gaming: Influences of Mixed Media

    Dr. Evelyn Ellerman, chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Athabasca University, is interviewed in this show. She talks about the implications of gaming for the field of Communication Studies. Dr. Ellerman will address the role of narrative in games as a form of storytelling. How media overlap with newer media transforming older media is a theme in this discussion. She particularly explains how the movie and gaming industries are cross pollinating and the implications of such overlap for the future of these media.

  • Monday, October 17, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Teaching Experts: From Gamers to Lifelong Learners

    This interview is with Dr. Jose Zagal, who is with DePaul University. He is the author of Ludoliteracy. In his article in Game Studies, “Novices, Gamers, and Scholars: Exploring the Challenges of Teaching About Games”, Dr. Zagal explains his doctoral dissertation research.

  • Monday, October 3, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Constructive and Cooperative Gaming

    Dr. Amy Bruckman is interviewed this time. She is an Associate Professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. She and her students in the Electronic Learning Communities research group, do research about online communities and education. Listeners will find this conversation quite helpful as it will introduce how gaming can be cooperative and constructive yet is not a panacea for all educational needs.

  • Monday, September 19, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – The Casual Game Revolution

    Dr. Jesper Juul, author of The Casual Game Revolution and Half-Real is interviewed in this show. He is a Danish game researcher who is currently a Visiting Assistant Arts Professor at the New York University Game Center. As a casual gamer myself, I was fascinated to find this book and required my students to read parts of it.

  • Monday, September 5, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Middle Aged Female Gamers!

    Mia Consalvo who is has just begun teaching at Concordia University in Montreal after a year as a visiting scholar at MIT. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming Handbook of Internet Studies published by Blackwell and is author of Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames from MIT Press. She has published articles and book chapters in the areas of game studies and internet studies.

  • Monday, August 15, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Game Transfer Phenomena

    My guest this week is Angelica Ortiz de Gortari, who will talk about the Game Transfer Phenomena. This young woman is working on her doctoral degree in the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. Originally from Mexico, Angelica has been fascinated with gaming and it’s effects for some time. Just as with my work on the effects of gaming on dreams, Angelica has found that when awake the game remains alive after the play ceases.

  • Monday, August 1, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Translations to Reality: Interview with a Psychologist who is a Serious Gamer

    This show is a conversation with a female serious video game player. Eva Murzyn, who is originally from Poland, completed her PhD at the University of Dundee in the United Kingdom. Her research on individual differences in black and white dreaming, and their relationship with black and white media. In part this research interest emerged from her own experiences with media and especially with video game play.

  • Monday, July 18, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Children, Media and Video Games – A First Look

    Two elements of children and video games are covered in this show. First I summarize a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation on media use by children 8 to 18. By looking at all media use by children we can contextualize their use of video games. Following this, you’ll hear an interview made at the 2011 Games for Health conference with a game developer who produces games for children.

  • Monday, July 4, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Exergaming

    Tad Stach is a computer science doctoral student at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Tad’s current research is in the field of human-computer interaction. I interviewed him during the Game Developers conference. Tad is exploring how exercise can be improved through computer-mediated physical activity. More specifically, he is interested in facilitating more effective group or exergames.

  • Monday, June 20, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Gamification. Community Involvement Made Fun by Applying Video Game Play Mechanics

    Gamification is the use of game play mechanics for non-game applications. It works by making technology more engaging and by encouraging desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in activities that are fun and rewarding. This shows guest is Judy Shasek, managing director of Healthy Community Development in the Eugene, OR area. She has applied the ideas of gamification to community involvement.

  • Monday, June 6, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Simulation or Game: PTSD Training Game

    In this show the principles of gaming and practice in virtual realms are illustrated with the work of Dr. Glenn Albright, of Kognito Interactive.

  • Monday, May 23, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Games for Health: Avatars

    This show is coming to you from the annual Games for Health meeting. This is a group of researchers, developers and service workers who are examining video game play as a way to service health needs. This show starts with a brief summary of the keynote by Martin Seligmann, world renowned positive psychology innovator. Then there is an interview with Debra Lieberman of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

  • Monday, May 9, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Video Game Play and Meditation, Spirituality and Dreams?

    This time Jayne reviews her own research into the effects of gaming on nighttime dreams as well as her thesis that gaming can be framed as a type of meditative experience.

  • Monday, May 2, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Addiction vs. Play

    Is video game addiction simply drug free coping or is it the ultimate expression of play? While the Chinese are taking action against extreme video game play, there are also concerns in many households in North America that gamers play at the expense of the rest of their lives. The research has shown that while this is possible, it is rare, 11% of gamers can be considered addicted. What is more likely the concern of parents and partners is that gaming takes up too much of their time.

  • Monday, April 11, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Video Game Play and Relaxation?

    To some it seems quite obvious that playing a video game is relaxing while for others this claim may seem like an oxymoron, an obvious contradiction. As it turns out there is now substantive research supporting the notion that video game play can be quite relaxing. This show is a conversation with Dr. Carmen Russoniello who is at the forefront of the research on casual games and their relaxing benefits. An Associate Professor at East Carolina University, Dr. Russoniello explains how he was approached by a major game developer to explore why their games were selling so well.

  • Monday, March 28, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? – Biting the Bullet: Does Playing Violent Games Cause Aggression? It Depends

    Communication Studies has examined the history of the introduction to all new media from poetry to the printing press to video game play and what is remarkably consistent is that fear seems to accompany each media when first introduced. In the case of video game play, like television, the emphasis of this fear has been on modeling aggression. In part this has been based on a large body of research into modeling effects of television so that one could say the pump was primed.

  • Monday, March 14, 2011

    VideoGames: Brain Gain or Drain? - FYI

    Ever wonder what’s the truth and what’s media hype regarding video games? This show will answer your questions. In this first one, a brief overview of some of the most pertinent and controversial issues surrounding video games today are touched upon. Ranging from the misconceptions of how video games and violence affect our children to how the dreams of gamers show signs of lucidity.