Video games: families, education, the risks & rewards podcast

The video game industry has thrived during the pandemic, causing parents and teachers to question more than ever their role in young people’s lives.

While debates have mostly focused on the dangers of video games, many researchers have been exploring the benefits these games have on bringing families closer together and supporting learning in libraries and schools. In today’s episode, we speak with researchers whose work focuses on different aspects of the phenomenon of video gaming.

Speaker profiles

Michael Saker is a Senior Lecturer at City, University of London. His research focuses on digital media, with an emphasis on the application of mobile and locative media in daily life. More recently, his research has extended to the phenomenology of emerging augmented and virtual reality technologies.

Leighton Evans is an Associate Professor in Media Theory at Swansea University, Wales. His research centres on phenomenology and digital media, with interests in locative media, social media, virtual and augmented reality and the subjective experience of technological implementation.

Sandra Schamroth Abrams, PhD, is Professor in the School of Education at St. John's University, New York. Abrams’s investigations of digital literacies, videogaming, and technology integration explore layered meaning making and agentive learning. Abrams is author/editor of over 75 works, including 8 books and 6 special issues. Abrams serves on multiple editorial boards and is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches and a founding co-editor of the Gaming Ecologies and Pedagogies book series (Brill).  

Hannah R Gerber is Professor of Literacy at Sam Houston State University and Honorary Professor in the Department of Language, Arts, and Culture at the University of South Africa. She is the President of the International Council for Educational Media. Gerber has given over a dozen keynote addresses across five continents as well as engaged in multiple speaking engagements at universities and conferences around the world. With over 90 published works to date, including seven books, her work has won multiple research awards and been discussed in mainstream media, such as Wired Magazine.

Craig Kelly is Lecturer in Criminology at Birmingham City University. His research interests include violence, organised crime and illicit markets.

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  • What are locative video games and how do they encourage group and family play?

  • What role does surveillance capitalism play in the consumption and use of video games?

  • How can libraries use video games to develop various skills and aptitudes in young people?

  • How do video games encourage intergenerational play?

  • Are video games really a form of deviant leisure?

  • What is the correlation between video games and violence?

  • What does LGBTQ representation in video games look like?

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