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Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound (New Directions in Media) Hardcover – February 18, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This accessible survey of the psychology of video games serves as a useful introduction. Summing Up: Recommended." - Choice

"As games mature, and the average age of gamers continues to rise, we can hope that game scholarship will evolve as well, and Glued to Games is a good step in that direction." - videogamewriters.com

About the Author

Scott is founder/president of Immersyve, Inc. (immersyve.com) and a veteran of both the ivory tower and interactive media development. After earning his doctorate in clinical psychology with a research emphasis on motivation, Scott spent eight years building Internet games and interactive content for Sony, Time Warner, and Viacom as well as online games based on major feature films such as AI:Artificial Intelligence, Red Planet, and Frequency before founding Immersyve in 2003. Scott was the host of several television shows in the NY region, including Your Internet Show and Metro Channel's Plugged In with Scott Rigby. His interactive work can also be seen as part of the "Explore the Universe" exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. 

In addition, Scott is the principle investigator on several grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  looking at innovative ways to enhance learning and deepen motivation for healthy lifestyle change through virtual environments.

Scott has served on the faculty of the Game Developers Conference, the New York New Media Association, and been a contributing feature author on Gamasutra. His work on measuring the player experience has been featured by EGM as part of its "Future of Video Games" special edition (May, 2007), as well as being featured by ABC News and Scientific American.  
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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions in Media
  • Hardcover: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (February 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313362246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313362248
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #537,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The authors did a good job with this book. I like the fact they make a non-gamer reader feel included by explaining gaming-specific items rather than leaving the reader feel clueless. On this particular topic, I had scant knowledge before reading this book. To me, the very limited time I have on this earth means I am just not going to do some things. Long ago, I put video games in that box of what I am not going to do.

But like any choice, this one means I am giving up something. As games have greatly evolved since their early days (when I made that choice), that "something" has become fairly significant. Video games do offer benefits beyond what we non-gamers typically know about. And, of course, they have their drawbacks. The authors explore both of these areas, while explaining what makes video gaming so compelling to so many people.

The authors also explore the hyperbole, disinformation, and denials about game content. Some fascinating reading, there.

So if you're not a gamer, is this book a waste of time to read? I don't think so. For one thing, you probably know (and misunderstand) someone who spends a fair amount of time with video games. And video gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry. Its market goes well beyond the original demographic (school children), to include all ages and most walks of life.

Most of us are aware that the Space Program has produced benefits in mainstream society (Tang not withstanding). Gaming shares such a legacy.

For example, as I type this I am viewing the text on a monitor that incorporates features originally developed to improve the video game experience. I remember when a 16-bit video card was a big deal, too.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was skeptical to drop money on this book since the only review, although positive, was from a self-proclaimed non-gamer. I picked up the sample on my Kindle Fire and was pleasantly surprised, so I bought the full book.

To give a little background, I AM a gamer and I work for a mobile video game developer. We recently got into the social/freemium market and, although our games have great ratings, we seem to be lacking in retention. This is where Glued to Games comes into play. I am just a little over halfway through the book and I already have a decent list of things that will help to improve our current game as well as our past/future titles.

Even if you don't make video games for a living, this book is fascinating from a psychological perspective. Ever wonder why some games, even simple ones, draw in users and get them hooked? This book explains it. I would recommend this to anyone trying to understand the relationship that games and gamers have.

On a final note, the authors are themselves gamers and give many examples of recent games that are good at hooking users. They also give real-world examples, for those who may have not played the games. Definitely a solid read for all types.
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Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to non-gamers and gamers alike. Given the ubiquity, influence and age/gender-agnostic nature of games today, I found it important - not to mention fascinating - to finally understand what really is going on behind games' unique ability to engage us.

The authors present a clear, compelling, scientifically supported perspective on why games engage people more potently and sustainably than practically any other aspect of our lives. The authors are PhD's in motivational psychology and uncover that successful games support intrinsic needs that all people have to feel competent, autonomous and relatedness with others. They debunk such myths as people play games simply because they are "fun" or because they seek opportunities for escape. Rather, they confirm that the density, consistency and immediacy of game experiences happen to be highly effective at delivering against and reinforcing those intrinsic needs.

My own experiences true up very well with the intrinsic motivational framework the authors have uncovered. My most motivating jobs, hobbies, entertainment experiences, and even personal relationships have all had strong alignment with the authors' framework. With that said, I was particularly interested in the chapter that looked more deeply at the role of gaming beyond entertainment. The next frontier could very well be leveraging game dynamics and mechanics to drive improvements in education, healthcare, personal finance, etc. The authors' research supports the high potential of that happening in a very big way.

Again, I highly recommend "Glued to Games." Very compelling and credible insights that are a result of digging deeply and methodically into the root drivers of successful games. The style of writing is also very accessible to any type of reader.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Authors Scott Rigby and Richard Ryan accomplish one of the most difficult challenges for those with extensive scientific and academic backgrounds: presenting the results of years of rigorous research in a book that is easily understood, fully absorbing and at times very entertaining. I have a strong interest in what makes people tick, and because of my career, what makes things engaging and compelling. The authors provide direct and actionable answers to those questions. As a result, this was one of the most valuable books I've ever read. If you want an understanding of what it is that satisfies intrinsic psychological needs and drives sustained engagement--you'll find it here.

While the focus is video games the book goes far beyond games and the knowledge it imparts is highly transferable and applicable. This is a must read for anyone in marketing, user experience, or frankly in any leadership position with an interest in employee motivation.

I am also a parent and struggle a bit with the role video games should play in my kids' lives. To be clear of my bias, I'd call myself more of an advocate than a critic. I still play a very direct role in the type of games they can play and I believe the games they play are beneficial to them. I've learned a lot of critical thinking, logic, and systems optimization from games and I believe they have value. Despite the title, "Glued to Games" is not inherently anti-video game. I might even call it slightly positive towards them.

It is at the very least, balanced. The authors address the negative side of video games but do it from a refreshing perspective of scientists. They are not sensationalist, trying to grab headlines, but instead present the research without bias and with thoughtful consideration of the implications.
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