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Bean, A. M. (2018). Working With Video Gamers And Game In Therapy: A Clinician’s Guide.  Routledge.







“This book is a must for understanding the attraction of video games, who plays them and why. Using video games in therapy is long overdue in understanding how people in the internet age can connect with like-minded people, create deep, long-lasting friendships and relationships, and learn valuable skills like leadership, teamwork, conflict resolution, and problem-solving. This book also gives valuable insight on archetypes in video games and what we can learn about the individual that gravitates towards certain archetypes. As a gamer myself, I am always playing the healer. The book’s archetype description for healer is most definitely me! Every mental health professional owes it to themselves to learn more about gamers and how they connect with the games they play, as well as how they connect with others (both in games and outside of them) over their love of video games.”

“Working with Video Gamers and Games in Therapy is an insightful read, offering clinicians a tangible way to understand game theory and mechanics. Anthony provides a way to understand the terminology, social interface, and deeper meanings behind modern video game culture. A valuable addition to the therapy library, this book helps to understand the evolving world of gaming in a unique and compelling way. His examples, definitions, and analysis are educational and open – displaying multiple gaming theories and approaches to controversial topics in the world today. Anthony provides not only discussion of concepts, but case examples that bring home the importance and value of this work. A thorough, research-based, valuable read for those seeking competence or even just a foot in the door. I caution readers to take this book with a fair amount of personal reflection, and a compelling argument towards understanding this culture much like any other.”

“One of the areas lacking in the discussion regarding the impact video games has on society is the use of video games in the realm of psychological research and praxis. I believe Dr. Bean’s book, “Working with Video Gamers and Gamers in Therapy,” provides a keywork in the field that shows the value of video games as a therapeutic tool for psychologists dealing with a variety of issues.

I think Anthony’s framing of video games in the first three chapters of the book will prove to be useful to those countering the claims of video game addiction as it provides a meaningful discourse of the textual and pathos interactions that occur within a player’s play of video games. Dr. Bean discusses in thorough detail how character development aids in a person’s understanding of not just the world they are playing in, but also their ability to make sense of the metanarratives that occur in the world away from the game. I found his connection to those narratives via the creation of meaningful and emotional experiences to be a strong reference towards looking at the immersive nature of video games rather than an addictive nature of those same games.

Finally, I would point to Dr. Bean’s use of case studies throughout the course of the book as a great tool for those teaching video games in a communication or psychology course as a means to discuss non-traditional means of therapy and non-traditional modes of health communication when dealing with the stress and trauma of individuals.

This book should be read by anybody that has questions regarding the value of video games as a means of helping people adapt to real-world problems.”


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Bean, A. M. (2019). The Psychology of Zelda: Linking Our World to the Legend of Zelda Series. Ben Bella.