New Book: Games Can Enhance Empathy in Children

Is your copy of Grand Theft Childhood getting a bit lonely up there on the bookshelf?

If so, new book by psychiatrist and gamer Dr. Kourosh Dini might make a great companion piece.

Video Game Play and Addiction: A Guide for Parents addresses the controversy over game addiction, examines the impact of video games on children, and provides advice for parents who are “overwhelmed and under informed about the games their children play.”

Of his book, Dini said:

Games have lots of benefits, which unfortunately, parents aren’t always aware of when the only games they’re exposed to are the controversial violent ones targeted to more mature players.  Age appropriate multi-player video games can allow children to learn how other people think – a key aspect of empathy. Games can also help a child become more comfortable with new and ever progressing technology…

To be sure, there are those who play problematically. Learning how to tell the difference can be critical toward promoting healthy development.

Other topics covered include:

  • Improved learning and communications skills
  • Emotional and mental health
  • Aggression
  • Motivational and withdrawal issues
  • ESRB ratings

Via: PR Web

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    And to think we have Toriyama-sensei to thank.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  2. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    (Inspired by Ashton. Kudos, brother!)


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  3. 0
    Kincyr says:

    Godwin’s Law: "As [an Internet] discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

    the Hitler part was fulfilled, by mentioning ‘Mein Kampf’

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  4. 0
    hayabusa75 says:

    A Nazi-related comment does NOT automatically mean Godwin’s Law is applicable.  If the comment is irrelevant or overly hyperbolic in using the Nazi reference, then Godwin’s Law applies.  I will admit that its level of appropriateness in a given situation is somewhat subjective, but it’s not a black and white thing, either.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  5. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    He compared this new book to Mein Kampf, albeit indirectly, by calling both a waste of one’s time.

    Either way, Godwin’s Law is invoked and this discussion is over.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  6. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Only thing is, it’s Nazi-related. Hence, Godwin’s Law is invoked and this has long since been over.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  7. 0
    Darmoth says:

    I think using Out of Harm’s Way might have been a better analogy than Mein Kampf. While both books contain enough lies that they should be labeled fiction, Out of Harm’s Way has more to do with the topic at hand I believe.

  8. 0
    Kincyr says:

    Godwin’s Law isn’t limited to Nazis, it applies to anything by Hitler, as it applies to Hitler himself

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  9. 0
    Derovius says:

     How is pointing out a book full of racist lies and propaganda related to Godwin’s law? Mein Kampf has predates Nazi’s, seeing as Hitler wrote it in prison before coming to power.

  10. 0
    Alevan says:

    Huh. I’ve been wanting to pick up some books to read and this might be a good one to look into. I’ll be taking a trip to my local book store when I get the chance.

    Amy Levandoski

  11. 0
    Wolvenmoon says:

    Is it just me or do most of the people writing about video games and championing/combating them know absolutely nothing about them?

    Maybe this is different, I don’t know, it sounds like another book written to profit off of a controversy with no real sources, or one source repeated over and over.

    All things in moderation. An entire martini is fine for most people, some should avoid it. For the vast majority of the population, a large bottle of vodka is not a one night drink.

  12. 0
    Mr. Stodern says:

    I didn’t realize empathy was something that could or had to be learned. And I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing that anyone has empathy for something that isn’t alive and doesn’t feel anything, such as a fictional character in a video game. Sure, I’ve felt guilty while stealing or killing in various games (like the Elder Scrolls games), but when I see an NPC drop the floor after I deplete it’s health meter, I don’t feel like I just killed someone, and I shouldn’t. Just seems a tad unhealthy to me.

  13. 0
    Meggie says:

    Age appropriate multi-player video games can allow children to learn how other people think – a key aspect of empathy.

    That’s the first I’ve heard someone make this claim, normally I hear critics claiming video games lead to apathy. There is merit to it, considering you’re interacting with real people in a controlled environment.

  14. 0
    Darmoth says:

    I remember nearly losing one because of Mortal K Combat III… Something about me playing as Noob Saibot and them never getting a chance to land a hit.

  15. 0
    insanejedi says:

    Or apathy…

    "STFU U NUB!"

    "OMG your so gay!"

    "Your a *** you know that? No one likes you!"

    and finally


  16. 0
    Geoff says:

    Yeah, but how many friendships have been destroyed by Contra?

    "Damn, I died a third time.  Let me get one of your lives."


    "Ok cool…argh, I fell into a pit.  I’m gonna take another one."

    "Stop stealing my lives you bastard!"

    Hehehe, good times, good times.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  17. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    I felt bad for the guys in Dues ex half of the fodder are jsut fools lead on by master minds…thus why I loved MR traq dart…..oh….those were the days….


    Why is it I always have unhealthy relations with fictional characters…….

    Shearing/Downloading will never be a mainstream market.

    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes
    of transportation of story and thought, to take them from
    society and you create a society of children and nannys

  18. 0
    Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Godwin’s Law, deoVIRUS.

    For once, it actually works in our favor.


    "Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

  19. 0
    Derovius says:

     Anything outside of a scientific journal is a waste of one’s time. Anyone can publish a book, regardless of its validity. Just look at Mein Kampf.

  20. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Oh Andrew ma boi, you wouldn’t happen to know if this is available at Barnes and Nobles?

    I have errands to run out that way, so if you know if they sell it I’ll make a stop.

    I can always call, but I’ve never been on hold for less than 30 minutes there.

  21. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    They are talking about multiplayer games. You know, the ones where you interact with other real people. By observing how they react in gaming situations, you can gain understanding of what goes through their minds. That is the first step towards empathy.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    MySpace Page:
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    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  22. 0
    deuxhero says:

    Really? I never felt empathy for the stormtroopers I bisected.Neither did I feel any for the ones I shoved down bottomless pits… or the ones I drained the life energy of… or…

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