On National Video Games Day, Assessing the Unintended Impacts of Gaming

It’s not easy to get your PhD revoked, but that’s exactly what happened to Jodi Whitaker, a professor at the University of Arizona who received her degree from Ohio State in communications. Whitaker, whose work specialized in violence and aggression in media and video games, supposedly found that there was a correlation between playing such … Continued


Is the Era of Violent Video Games Ending?

Rime, one of the gentlest, most emotionally moving and philosophically profound video games of 2017, is the result of a near-death experience. It happened when Raúl Rubio Munárriz, the creator of Rime, was drowning. On vacation in the Mediterranean, Munárriz swam a mile out into the sea to a buoy, which he discovered was too … Continued


Failure to Launch: Young Men and Video Games

You don’t have to slip on a virtual reality headset to know that video and computer games have taken huge leaps forward in both sophistication and immersive experience. Whether you want to kill the aliens that have overrun your space station, jump into a particularly challenging WWII battle, make the game-winning goal on the soccer … Continued


Running Your Own Drug Cartel Isn’t Entertainment

Somewhere in a bubble are a group of sanctimonious parents convinced that every activity, every game, every minute their precious child spends should be uplifting, enlightening, and helping them become future peace-loving citizens of the world. In the real world, however, parents have long since realized that while it’s smart to encourage kids to play … Continued


A Defense of Pokémon Go and the Pursuit of Hyper-Reality

Who would have thought that in such a short time Pokémon Go could redefine reality? Not even a month has passed since the mobile app became the most talked-about craze of the year, and already a significant number of Americans have allowed the game to dominate their waking lives, leaving the remainder of the population … Continued


The Virtues of Pokémon GO

I’ve always caught Pidgeys on a Gameboy screen. But now, I can catch them in the forest behind my house. Pokémon GO, a new game in Nintendo’s massively successful Pokémon franchise, was just released in the US last week. From what people are saying about it—and from all the weird stuff that’s happened because of … Continued


Why Brushing Your Teeth Doesn’t Need to be “Gamified”

Like every other parent in the throes of summer vacation, I wake up every morning vaguely panicked about how to meet the biggest challenge of the day ahead: how to get more screen time for my children. In between the video games and the television, the smartphones and the tablets, with the occasional Super Smash … Continued


Why Do Feminist Video Game Critics Want to Ban Male Fantasies?

It seems increasingly evident that Anita Sarkeesian, the feminist critic of alleged sexism in video games, wants to ban men from having sexual fantasies. Male sexual fantasies have been the main focal point running through Sarkeesian’s video series, “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.” In her latest video, Sarkeesian explores what she calls the “Women … Continued


God, Guns, Masculinity, and the New Promise Keepers

In 1990, a Colorado football coach named Bill McCartney founded an organization meant to encourage men to live honorably. Within two years, Promise Keepers was no longer a group but a movement, and in 1997 it attracted more than a million men to the Washington D.C. mall for a “sacred assembly,” a massive pep rally … Continued