Mind at play: the psychology of video games. (book reviews)
If you are really interested in why people play computer games, you may want to look at Geoffrey and Elizabeth Loftus's Mind at Play: The Psychology of Video Games. Both authors are cognitive psychologists, which occasionally makes the book a little bit technical. But the material is provocative nonetheless. Here is a sample, quoting the well-known psychologist Philip Zimbardo: "The video games that are proving so addictive to young people may not only be socially isolating but actually encourage violence between people." The authors discuss this point and mention games such as Frogger and Donkey Kong as evidence that the current crop of video games is turning away from violence as the central theme. You may not agree with everything in the book, but you are sure to read logical arguments for what is being proposed. Basic Books, $14.95.
Review Grade: B