Video Games and Society…a new series from Reference Point Press


Video Games and Society (series). San Diego: Reference Point Press, 2015. 80 p. $32.00 (hardcover), $28.95 (single-user ebook); $39.95 (unlimited user ebook) Gr. 9-12.

Bjornlund, Lydia. The History of Video Games. 978-160152-7462
Nakaya, Andrea C. Video Games and Youth. 978-160152-7509
Netzley, Patricia D. How Do Video Games Affect Society? 978-160152-7486
Netzley, Patricia D. Video Games, Violence, and Crime. 978-160152-7523
This series aims to shed light on the history and effects of video games, and it does so admirably.  The History of Video Games covers how games developed (Pong, Atari, Donkey Kong and more), changed (arcades to home consoles to Wii to apps), and what the future may hold (virtual reality).  Video Games and Youth considers the costs and benefits of widespread video game use.  How Do Video Games Affect Society? explores popularity of games, research, effects on health and learning, and the regulation of games.  In this book, Netzley summarizes the conflicting research by focusing on the complexity of factors impacting the mind of a violent person, arguing that “most people who play video games do so without problems, complaints, or an urge to commit real-life violent acts.”  Video Games, Violence, and Crime shares research findings that video games can increase violence and crime, especially among individuals with long-standing emotional or behavioral issues.  While not deliberately graphic, the described violence (including mass shootings) is nonetheless chilling.  The short 80-page titles are well-written, with more text than illustrations; photos included are well-placed and not filler material.  Excellent for research or casual reading.  Includes solid resources, source notes, and index.
794.8; Video Games        Melissa Scott, Shenango High School

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