Clinical Use of Video Games

Clinical Use of Video Games

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch284
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In the United, despite the extreme popularity of video games among adolescents, however, researchers in the fields of developmental and social psychology examining video game have focused mainly on the association between video game use and negative outcomes, while research on positive outcomes is more limited. Video game, and the usage of video games, in (adolescent) therapy and (adolescent) psychotherapy is any but ubiquitous. The research and clinical potential for combining video games and the communicative possibilities of the internet are immense. Hence, the purpose of this chapter is on video game and their usages in (adolescent) therapy and psychotherapy. This chapter will cover the history of video games, video games in psychotherapy, and the different types of video games and their usages in psychotherapy.
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According to Ceranoglu (2010), the first video game materialized on an oscilloscope screen in 1958 (Kent, 2001) featuring a game of simulated tennis that amused visitors to Brookhaven National Laboratory. Thereafter, video games have become a major part of pop culture and the entertainment medium of choice for millions of people (Gettler, 2008; Poole, 2000). However, for many, video games were first created in the 1970s and since then have grown into a multibillion-dollar industry: the annual U.S. retail sales of video games reached more than $9.9 billion in 2004 alone (Greitemeyer & Osswald, 2010; Sestir & Bartholow, 2010). According to Greitemeyer and Osswald (2010), large-scale surveys show that 70% of homes with children ages 2 to 17 years have computers and 68% have video game equipment (Woodard & Gridina, 2000). Eighty-seven percent of children play video games regularly (Walsh, Gentile, Gieske, Walsh, & Chasco, 2003). Children ages 2 to 7 years spent an average of 3 to 5 hours a week playing video games (Gentile & Walsh, 2002), while 8th and 9th-grade students average 9 hours per week (Gentile, Lynch, Linder, & Walsh, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Commercial Video Games: Games that, in their original license, were not considered freeware, but were re-released at a later date with a freeware license, sometimes as publicity for a forthcoming sequel or compilation release.

Serious Game (or Applied Game): Is a game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment.

Anxiety Disorders: Are a category of mental disorders characterized by feelings of anxiety and fear, where anxiety is a worry about future events and fear is a reaction to current events.

Aggression: Is overt, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other unpleasantness upon another individual.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Is a developmental neuropsychiatric disorder in which there are significant problems with executive functions that cause attention deficits, hyperactivity, or impulsiveness which is not appropriate for a person's age.

Therapy: Is the attempted remediation of a health problem, usually following a diagnosis.

Psychotherapy: Is the treatment of a person's problems by (typically) conversing with another person.

Personality Disorders: A class of mental disorders characterized by enduring maladaptive patterns of behavior, cognition, and inner experience, exhibited across many contexts and deviating markedly from those accepted by the individual's culture.

Autism: Is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.

Game: A voluntary activity structured by rules, with a defined outcomes or other quantifiable feedback that facilitates reliable comparisons of in-player performances.

Video Game: Games that are designed for players to actively engage with their systems and for these systems to, in turn, react to players’ agentive behaviors.

Psychosis: Refers to an abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”.

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