Are videogames bad for us?
It’s the question on everyone’s mind, given teenagers’ captive attention to videogames and the media’s tendency to scapegoat them. It’s also—if you ask clinical psychologist Alexander Kriss—the wrong question.
In his therapy office, Kriss looks at videogames as a window into the mind. Is his patient Liz really “addicted” to Candy Crush—or is she evading a deeper problem? Why would aspiring model Patricia craft a hideous avatar named “Pat”? And when Jack immerses himself in Mass Effect, is he eroding his social skills—or honing them via relationship-building gameplay?
Weaving together Kriss’s personal history, patients’ experiences, and professional insight—and without shying away from complex subjects, such as online harassment—The Gaming Mind disrupts our assumptions about “gamers” and explores how gaming can be good for us. It offers guidance for parents, clinicians, and the rest of us to better understand the gaming mind. Like any mode of play, at their best, videogames reveal who we are—and what we want from our lives.
About the Author
Alexander Kriss, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and author. He received his doctorate from The New School for Social Research and completed internship training at Columbia University Medical Center. In 2015, Dr. Kriss opened a private practice in New York City, where he provides psychoanalytic and existential psychotherapy to adolescents and adults dealing with a wide range of issues. He currently serves as an adjunct professor of psychology at the City College of New York and Fordham University, and as a clinical associate at the Safran Center for Psychological Services. Dr. Kriss’s writing has appeared in Kill Screen, Logic, and numerous academic books and journals. He is the recipient of a University in Exile Fellowship from The New School and a Scholar Award from the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology. The Gaming Mind is his first book.