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Psychology of Internet & Online Gaming

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CE Credits for Psychologists. CE Credits (CEUs) for LMFTs, Social Workers, Counselors and Nurses.
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Safety Online

  • SafeKids.com
    Contains information about the dangers of children using the Internet along with rules, advice, and tips relating to child security and the web.
  • Rules 'N Tools
    Describes safety rules and software tools to protect your children online from ProtectKids.com.
  • Internet Addiction: Tips for Parents
    Advice for parents on treating Internet addiction in children and teenagers from the Media Awareness Network.
  • Pornography: Tips for Parents
    Find safety precautions and advice about protecting your children from online pornography from the Media Awareness Network.
  • NetSmartz.org
    Educational resource from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

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Cybersex

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Online Assessment Tools

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Treatment Programs and Centers for Internet Addiction

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About Educational Games

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Game Ratings

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Educational Games

Games are designed to be fun and engaging, and educational games are no exception! They harness the desire of today's youth to have instant, constant feedback and teach skills and information at the same time. Players are rewarded for knowledge, memory, mental agility, and creativity. Topics range from math, to reading, geography, planning, time and project management, language skills (primary and other languages), archaeology and other sciences, and business. The possibilities are endless; here is a sampling of the available games and their purpose, by age range. Most games are free unless otherwise noted.

    Young Children
  • Whyville:
    A virtual community where children and tweens enjoy a wide range of educational and entertaining games
  • Capital Penguin: Single-player game in which the player learns U.S. states and their capital cities. You must jump on the state that matches the given capital city; jumping towards the wrong state means your penguin will fall into the ocean. Hits and misses are recorded for learning feedback.
  • Grammar Gorillas: Players identify parts of speech in order to win bananas. Levels are beginner (nouns and verbs) and advanced (all parts of speech).
  • Grand Prix Mulitplication: Up to four players can play this game, which tests the ability to solve math problems quickly in order to win the Grand Prix. The student's correct answers enable a faster pace of the car.
  • Lemonade Stand: This game simulates the real-life task of running a lemonade stand. Start with twenty dollars; see how much you can make. Fun way to teach beginning business.
  • Tug Team: Up to eight players can play this game which builds familiarity with fractions. How quickly the student correctly answers the fraction problem determines how much the dirt bike will tug, and the team with the fastest rate of correct answers will win the tug of war. Hits and misses are recorded and displayed at the end of the game, along with the student's rate.
    Teens
  • Airport Tycoon 3: This business management game provides as close to hands-on experience as one can get remotely. Players manage an airport, including security, bad weather, customer and staff needs. Good 3D graphics.
  • Darfur is Dying: This game educates players on world issues by showing the violence present in Sudan. The player may be at home on the computer, but they are certainly not isolated when playing this awareness-building game.
  • Fitness Frenzy: Another time management game, this time the user runs 10 gym sites and performs personal training. The player helps his or her "clients" to shape up, while keeping them happy and performing all the necessary duties of the job. Great practice for offline time and project management.
  • FreeRice.com: This game builds vocabulary and social awareness by donating 10 cents for each correct answer to the UN World Food Program.
  • FunTrivia.com: Trivia games for teens, new games added every hour. Tests and rewards knowledge and quickness to answer.
  • Gamestar Mechanic: Players get a chance to win enough power to design and create their own video games by solving a set of puzzles. One question asks users to determine how two players arrive at a given point at the same time using physics concepts.
  • Geology Explorer: This game for high school and college students is designed to teach geology in a fun, interactive way. Players perform a number of exploratory tasks on the planet Oit, identify findings, create a map and overcome hardship.
  • Guess That Phrase: Like Wheel of Fortune, players choose letters that are included in the phrase to be discovered, then guess the phrase. Builds quickness with letters, creativity with words.
  • Little Big Planet: This multiplayer game for PlayStation 3 comes in 24 languages and has over a million levels - impossible to exhaust! In addition to playing, users can create their own challenges, to be played by others. Opportunity to be an active player and creator teaches exploration and game-building skills. Available at cost.
  • Math Baseball: Players complete math problems to play baseball. A wrong answer is a strike out, and correct answers are hits. Whether the hit is a home run or simply to a base depends on the difficulty of the question.
  • My Little Word Puzzles: Tests the user's knowledge of definitions and spelling with this game. Letters are randomized and a definition is given; players can learn new words as they put the letters together.
  • ReMission: The player gets to destroy malignant cancer cells in this health-promoting game.
  • Virtual Cell: An interactive game designed to teach students the parts of a cell and how they interact. Includes worksheets for teachers and knowledge test questions.
  • Words in a Word: Players find words (4 letter minimum) in other words. Builds vocabulary, quick word recognition skills.

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Gaming in the Community and Schools
Following are examples of educational models, family relationship-building and community improvement programs involving gaming. President Barack Obama supports the use of gaming in schools as a way to prepare children for the world they are entering. Here's how today's schools are using gaming to help students learn:
  • A game-based school called Quest to Learn opened in 2009 in New York City. The school serves grades 6-12 and seeks to harness the desire of teens to play games in a manner which affords them creativity, teaches them and fosters collaboration among educators, students and game designers. A true 21st Century education.
  • Some Universities are extremely gamer-friendly, especially Digipen Institute of Technology, which offers a 4-year degree in game design. Graduates of the program receive an average of two job offers directly after graduating.
  • The Top 10 Gaming Schools in the U.S. Interestingly, although these college campuses encourage Internet use, their policies do NOT result in increased Internet or gaming addiction. Eighty-three percent of students report gaming less than 6 hours a week. This may be an argument for normalizing gaming as a method for decreasing its potential addictive pull.
  • Educational online games are becoming part of standard education. This article gives more information.

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Psychology of the Internet

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Journals on Psychology of Internet, Computers, Gaming, Internet Addiction

 

Additional References

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  • Young, K. S. & Klausing, P. (In press). Breaking Free of the Web: A Faith-Based Recovery Guide for Internet Addicts and their Families. St. Anthony’s Messenger Press.
  • Young, K. S. (2005) Understanding Cybersex Addiction. The Amplifier. American Psychological Association Division on Media Psychology, Fall/Winter 2004, 9
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  • Zur, A. & Zur, O. (2011). Cyberbullying: Definition, Prevalence, Consequences, and Prevention, A guide for parents, teens, health professionals, and educators. Available online: http://www.zurinstitute.com/cyberbullying.html

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