Over the last forty years, video games have transformed from a niche market to a multibillion-dollar industry. No longer limited to arcade parlors, video games are everywhere and are accessible at any time. Along with the popularization of video games has come a growing concern about their ability to transform those who play them into antisocial killing machines who are desensitized to violence, have no friends, and will forever live in their parents’ basements. But are these fears based in reality? Over the last twenty years, psychologists, sociologists, and media scholars have been working hard to answer these questions. Until now, their findings have largely remained insulated within scientific circles and inaccessible to the general public.
A Parent’s Guide to Video Games breaks the long-standing barriers between science and society by providing the first comprehensive guide to the science behind the headlines. Drawing from the most recent research in the field of game studies, A Parent’s Guide to Video Games was developed specifically to help parents better understand if, how, and why video game play can impact a child’s physical, social, and psychological well-being.
This includes addressing questions such as these: Will playing violent video games make my child more aggressive and more likely to commit violent crime? Is video game addiction real? If so, how do I know if my child is addicted to video games? Will video game play worsen the symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADD)? Answers to these questions and many more are discussed inside. Armed with accurate and up-to-date scientific information, parents will begin to understand the science behind the headlines and be able to make more informed decisions for themselves and their families.
A trailblazing philosopher’s exploration of the latest brain science—and its ethical and practical implications.
What happens when we accept that everything we feel and think stems not from an immaterial spirit but from electrical and chemical activity in our brains? In this thought-provoking narrative—drawn from professional expertise as well as personal life experiences—trailblazing neurophilosopher Patricia S. Churchland grounds the philosophy of mind in the essential ingredients of biology. She reflects with humor on how she came to harmonize science and philosophy, the mind and the brain, abstract ideals and daily life.
Offering lucid explanations of the neural workings that underlie identity, she reveals how the latest research into consciousness, memory, and free will can help us reexamine enduring philosophical, ethical, and spiritual questions: What shapes our personalities? How do we account for near-death experiences? How do we make decisions? And why do we feel empathy for others? Recent scientific discoveries also provide insights into a fascinating range of real-world dilemmas—for example, whether an adolescent can be held responsible for his actions and whether a patient in a coma can be considered a self.
Churchland appreciates that the brain-based understanding of the mind can unnerve even our greatest thinkers. At a conference she attended, a prominent philosopher cried out, “I hate the brain; I hate the brain!” But as Churchland shows, he need not feel this way. Accepting that our brains are the basis of who we are liberates us from the shackles of superstition. It allows us to take ourselves seriously as a product of evolved mechanisms, past experiences, and social influences. And it gives us hope that we can fix some grievous conditions, and when we cannot, we can at least understand them with compassion.