Consulting, Research and Speaking on Health and Media Issues

New book: Sports Videogames

If your household includes a preschooler, teenager or young adult, there’s a good chance you already own a potentially powerful weapon against couch-potatodom: sports videogames. I say this because of a surprising finding from my Harvard video game surveys and focus groups.Child with Skateboard White Background

Our survey of middle-school youth found that boys who play realistic sports games (e.g., soccer, basketball, skateboarding) spend more time on real-world sports and exercise. In focus groups, boys spontaneously mentioned trying new sports or playing more sports because of video games. For both boys and girls, competition and excitement are major motivators for video game play; sports games offer both. If you’re a parent who’s less than comfortable with violent game content, consider nudging your child toward video games based on his/her favorite sports. I’ll say more about this in future posts.

In the meantime, check out Sports Videogames, hot off the presses from Routledge. Edited by Mia Consalvo, Konstantin Mitgutsch and Abe Stein, the book is not just for academics. Since Amazon lacks a chapter list, here’s the rundown:

Sports Videogames: Mapping the Field – Mia Consalvo, Konstantin Mitgutsch, Abraham Stein

1. Games, Sports, and Sport Videogames: Designed Challenges in Racing Games – Jonas Linderoth

2. A Tale of Two Games: Football and FIFA 12 – Miguel Sicart

3. What Are Sports Videogames? – Ian Bogost

4. Joga Bonito: Beautiful Play, Sports and Digital Games – Henry Lowood

5. Women, Sports and Videogames – Mia Consalvo

6. Playing the Game on Television – Abe Stein

7. It’s in the Game? Shifting the Scene with Online Play – Christopher Paul

8. The Slow Grind: Skateboarding Videogames and the Culture and Practice of Skateboarding – John Sharp

10. Likeness Licensing Litigation: Student Athletes and the Future of Sports Videogames – Nina Huntemann

10. Playing Ball: Fan Experiences in Basketball Videogames – Fares Kayali

11. Eventful Masculinities: Negotiations of Hegemonic Sporting Masculinities at LANs – Emma Witkowski

12. Sports Gaming in Everyday Life: A Meaning Oriented Exploration of the Appropriation of the Online Football Manager Game Hattrick – Jeff Wimmer & Jana Nickol

13. Why Sports Videogames Matter to Their Players: Exploring Meaningful Experiences in Playographies – Konstantin Mitgutsch

14. Using Sports Videogames to Promote Real-World Physical Activity Among Young Adolescents – Cheryl Olson