Glued to Games

How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound

by Scott Rigby and Richard M. Ryan


Video games have come a long way, from Atari's pinging, monochromatic Pong to the garish mayhem of Grand Theft Auto and the stylish sophistication of Beatles Rock Band. And it's no longer just teenagers that are hooked—audiences both young and old can't seem to get enough. But while "video-game addict" has become a common term, are these games really physically and psychologically addictive?

Print Flyer
Cover image for Glued to Games

February 2011


Pages 186
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/General

This book offers a practical yet powerful way to understand the psychological appeal and strong motivation to play video games.

With video game sales in the billions and anxious concerns about their long-term effects growing louder, Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound brings something new to the discussion. It is the first truly balanced research-based analysis on the games and gamers, addressing both the positive and negative aspects of habitual playing by drawing on significant recent studies and established motivational theory.

Filled with examples from popular games and the real experiences of gamers themselves, Glued to Games gets to the heart of gaming's powerful psychological and emotional allure—the benefits as well as the dangers. It gives everyone from researchers to parents to gamers themselves a clearer understanding the psychology of gaming, while offering prescriptions for healthier, more enjoyable games and gaming experiences.


  • Images from classic and modern video games illustrate key points and make the information accessible to all readers
  • A bibliography of numerous psychological studies support the author's underlying motivational model


  • Presents the first model of game motivation based on established theories of human motivation and emotion
  • Tackles highly interesting and popular topics in the sphere of gaming from a new and unique perspective, including game violence and game addiction
  • Focuses on the fundamentals of game psychology and both its positive and negative implications, rather than promoting a narrow perspective
Author Info

Scott Rigby, PhD, is founder and president of Immersyve, Inc., a research and consulting group specializing in the psychology of virtual worlds and interactive technologies. In addition to publishing scholarly research on human motivation, Rigby has himself developed interactive applications for entertainment (Sony, Warner Brothers), education (The Smithsonian Institute), and health care.

Richard M. Ryan is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology, psychiatry, and education at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. He is a cofounder of the Self-Determination Theory, and has published well over 300 scholarly articles in the areas of human motivation, personality development, and applied psychology.



"This accessible survey of the psychology of video games serves as a useful introduction. Summing Up: Recommended."Choice

"As games mature, and the average age of gamers continues to rise, we can hope that game scholarship will evolve as well, and Glued to Games is a good step in that direction."

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