May 24, 2022
Video games have been accused of being addictive and making players more violent and sexist. Studies have been cited that confirm these claims. And politicians suggesting laws limiting what video games can do have referenced the “scientific consensus” on these issues. But how does good research on these topics actually work and what does it tell us about the connection between games, violence, addiction, and sexism?
Our guest,Rachel Kowert, Ph.D, is a research psychologist and the Research Director of Take This. She is a world-renowned researcher on the uses and effects of digital games, including their impact on physical, social, and psychological well-being. An award-winning author, she has published a variety of books and scientific articles relating to the psychology of games and, more recently, the relationship between games and mental health specifically. Recently, she founded her YouTube channel Psychgeist, which serves to bridge the gap between moral panic and scientific knowledge on a variety of psychology and game-related topics. In 2021, Dr. Kowert was chosen as a member of The Game Awards Future Class, representing the best and brightest of the future of video games. Dr. Kowert has been featured in various media outlets, including NPR, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Wired, and video game publications such as Kotaku and Polygon.
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Hosted by Shlomo Sher, Ph.D. and Andy Ashcraft
Production by Carmen Elena Mitchell
Music and graphics by Daniel Sher