Abstract: The unquestioned popularity of video games as a pre-eminent source of entertainment has brought with it a renewed focus on the medium from the political and scholarly arenas. Games are an robust economic force, yet research tends to focus on their content as being "good" or "bad" rather than the experiences of the players themselves, which leaves our understanding of the phenomenology of the video game experience incomplete (at best) and inaccurate (at worst). To this end, Dr. Bowman's presentation will briefly review the current state of gaming research before suggesting ways in which scholars can pursue gaming research that compliments rather than replicates what has already been gleaned from more media effects-oriented studies, citing four exemplar studies.
Bio: Nick Bowman (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at West Virginia University where he specializes in digital and social media technology - in particular, the motivations and uses of interactive media for entertainment, relational, informational and persuasive purposes. He has published nearly two dozen research articles in journals such as Computers in Human Behavior, Media Psychology, New Media and Society, and Journal of Communication and currently serves on the editorial board of Media Psychology and Journal of Media Psychology. He is an active member of National Communication Association and International Communication Association, and is an avid gamer of third- and fourth-generation video game consoles.