Opinions and Culture

Video Games: Brain Gain or Drain?

Jayne Gackenbach Ph.D.

Video Games: 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. Lab (Virginia Tech Gaming and Media Effects Research Laboratory), a small laboratory hosted by the Department of Communication.” In a chapter, which is appearing in an edited book on communication studies, Ivory points out that “among a sea of influences that can increase aggression, video game violence doesn’t rise to the surface”. He and his coauthor also talk about the role of video games in mass school shootings as a misguided speculation. We had a lively discussion about the stigmatization that such speculation has caused in gamers. In addition to his academic research, he also works to help develop software and provide occasional consulting services pertaining to media analysis, development, and marketing as a member of Arrowhead Interactive.