Chapter 14

Creating Good Lives Through Computer Games

Daniel Johnson, Peta Wyeth and Penny Sweetser

Queensland University of Technology, Australia


In this chapter we aim to explore how videogames can lead to improvements in wellbeing. Following Keyes (2007) and Huppert and So (2012) we view wellbeing as a multidimensional concept with both hedonic and eudaimonic aspects. In this chapter we take a broad approach in terms of exploring the impact of videogames on the psychological, social, and physical components of wellbeing. We explore how videogames have been shown to have an impact in each of these domains. Although there is a great deal of evidence for the actual and potential positive impacts of videogames, there are many unanswered questions regarding the situations in which there is likely to be an impact of videogame play on wellbeing, as well as the aspects of wellbeing that are likely to be impacted by videogame play. We conclude the chapter by outlining the key questions for future research. Our focus in this chapter is on the positive influences of videogames. We do not explore research on contexts in which negative impacts are possible or subgroups for which videogames could cause harm. However, these questions are obviously important and we see balanced engagement with age-appropriate videogames as a key prerequisite for any of the wellbeing benefits discussed below.

Videogames offer a uniquely powerful means of engaging people and have become a mainstream ...

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