8-3 | The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Digital Games

Book Review

The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Digital Games

Rachel Kowert and Thorsten Quandt, eds.
New York, NY: Routledge, 2016. Acknowledgments, contributors, index. 196 pp. $39.95 paper. ISBN: 9781138831636

by Patrick M. Markey

First Paragraph:

During U.S. Senate hearings in 1954, legislators warned the public of the sadomasochism being taught to our children in colorful comic book pages by Wonder Woman, the dangers inherent in Superman, and the homoerotic perils posed by Batman. Thirty years later, Senate hearings focused on the hazards of Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop” and Madonna’s “Dress You Up.” Politicians and lawmakers have now shifted their focus from paper comics and pop music to video games. In the past twenty years, dozens of laws have been passed, federal hearings have been held, presidents have expressed their fears, and cases have been presented before the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to protect our society from the digital menace. In many ways, The Video Game Debate: Unravelling the Physical, Social, and Psychological Effects of Digital Games presents a rebuttal to the rising moral panic surrounding video games. Editors Rachel Kowert and Thorsten Quandt have gathered a group of top scientists in order to create a book with ten chapters addressing a diverse selection of related video game topics. Written primarily for an academic audience, this book is packed with references, theory, research, and statistics.