Commercial video games may offer a cheap and readily available way to help us understand in what way video games can be used to promote adolescent well-being. Excellent targets for this are games that involve social interaction, encourage both positive and negative emotions and are identified by youth themselves as potentially beneficial. By letting youth play several commercial video games in different settings, we can learn how games interact with well-being and motivation in both short and long-term.
Because anxiety is an important cause of impairment for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it is necessary that effective anxiety interventions are implemented for these children. Recently, a serious game called "MindLight" has been developed that is focused on decreasing anxiety in children. It is expected that MindLight is an effective anxiety treatment for children with an autism spectrum disorder.
Despite widespread claims that video gaming is harmful for children's social and emotional development, hardly any research has tracked children over time to verify these claims. Moreover, such claims run contrary to the importance which psychologists have given to play. This project aimed to address these matters.
In my PhD project I study social games for the prevention of depression. In my project I take part in both the development and testing of games. I want to use video games to help youth become more emotionally resilient and to decrease the stigma that surrounds depression. I do this in close collaboration with other researchers and game designers. I am particularly interested in games that are played in a social context, because I believe that both social threat and social support are key factors in the development and maintenance of depression.
Erik van den Berge
This project investigates the influences of different aspects of video game play behavior on the adjustment and social relationships of adolescents. In an annual survey, adolescents indicate their well-being and various elements of their video game play behavior (such as their motivation for gaming, type of games played, and the social context in which games are played). The aim of the project is to investigate how average, day-today gaming affects the social development of teens.
Yvonne van den Berg