The role of psychology in understanding the impact of computer games

Elizabeth Boyle, Thomas M. Connolly, Thomas Hainey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

275 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last 40 years, computer games have become an extremely popular leisure activity and more recently there has also been interest in the potential of serious games to help in learning, skill acquisition and attitude and behaviour change. Initially public interest in computer games focused on concerns about their violent and gender stereotyped content and their potentially addictive properties, but more recently the benefits of games have also been recognised. Psychology is at the interface between science, cognitive science and social science and in this paper we examine the role that theories and research in psychology have played in understanding the impacts of playing games, the appeal of games and the potential of games in supporting learning and behaviour change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalEntertainment Computing
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Computer games
  • Psychology
  • Engagement
  • Serious games
  • Learning


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of psychology in understanding the impact of computer games'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this