Video Games and Children

electronic game

electronic game, device or computer program that provides entertainment by challenging a person's eye-hand coordination or mental abilities. Made possible by the development of the microprocessor, electronic games are marketed in various formats, such as hand-held one-player models, cartridges or compact discs that are inserted in modules attached to television sets, computer programs run on personal or network computers, and freestanding arcade versions. Most of their appeal comes from the computer program that synchronizes flashing lights and a variety of sounds with the movielike animated action portrayed on a graphic display (see computer graphics). As the technology has advanced from 8-bit microprocessors to ever faster chips with greater graphic and sound capabilities, the programming has kept pace. For example, the newest games have so many levels and twists that they may take more than 100 hours to complete, and the graphic capabilities allow the game player to alter the visual perspective from narrow to panoramic. The games may be contested among several players, or an individual may engage in a test of skill against the computer. Some Internet-based games, known as massively multiplayer on-line games (MMOGs), involve thousands of individuals interacting with each other in ongoing, open-ended play; by 2007 MMOGs were a $1 billion industry in the United States, with some businesses and individuals earning income through player-to-player transactions involving virtual products. In China, sales of virtual goods were estimated at $5 billion in 2009. Game subjects include sports (e.g., baseball and football); action warfare, adventure, and role-playing; casino gambling (e.g., as roulette, poker, and simulated slot machines); and such classics as solitaire, contract bridge, chess, and backgammon. See also virtual reality.

See S. L. Kent, The Ultimate History of Video Games (2001); M. J. P. Wolf, ed., The Medium of the Video Game (2002); R. DeMaria and J. L. Wilson, High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games (2d ed. 2003); E. Castronova, Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games (2005); H. Chaplin and A. Ruby, Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution (2005); J. Juul, Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds (2005); J. Raessens and J. Goldstein, ed., Handbook of Computer Game Studies (2005); T. L. Taylor, Play between Worlds (2006).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Minds in Play: Computer Game Design as a Context for Children's Learning
Yasmin B. Kafai.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1995
The Effects of Playing Educational Video Games on Kindergarten Achievement
Din, Feng S.; Calao, Josephine.
Child Study Journal, Vol. 31, No. 2, June 2001
Kinderculture: The Corporate Construction of Childhood
Shirley R. Steinberg; Joe L. Kincheloe.
Westview Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Video Games and the Emergence of Interactive Media for Children"
Media Entertainment: The Psychology of Its Appeal
Dolf Zillmann; Peter Vorderer.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Video Games and the Pleasure of Control"
Mind at Play: The Psychology of Video Games
Geoffrey R. Loftus; Elizabeth F. Loftus.
Basic Books, 1983
Videogames
James Newman.
Routledge, 2004
Popular Video Games: Quantifying the Presentation of Violence and Its Context
Smith, Stacy L.; Lachlan, Ken; Tamborini, Ron.
Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Vol. 47, No. 1, March 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence
Gerard Jones.
Basic Books, 2002
Computers, Video Games, and Literacy: What Do Girls Think?
Mackereth, Mathew; Anderson, Jonathan.
Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Vol. 23, No. 3, October 2000
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Parental Perceptions of Computer-Based Gaming Technology: An Evaluation of Children's Leisure Pursuits in the Computer Age
Clayton, Belinda.
Australian Journal of Early Childhood, Vol. 28, No. 3, September 2003
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Cyber Children Have Arrived
Johnson, Dan.
The Futurist, Vol. 35, No. 5, September 2001
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