Video game psychodynamics: a grounded theory of video game discussion in counseling

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University of Alabama Libraries

Video games are an emerging topic of discussion among researchers and practitioners of the counseling profession. Little, however, is known about the counseling experiences of video gamer clients. The purpose of this study was to develop an emerging grounded theory that explains the process and impact of client video game discussion in counseling. The study explored the qualitative experiences of eight participants that have discussed their video gaming identities or experiences with a counselor. Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews that were chiefly concerned with a participant’s relationship to video games, motivations for discussing video games in counseling, and perceived experiences of discussing video games with their counselor. A six-step coding process was used to analyze the data in order to answer the research questions. Emergent themes grounded in the data included: consumption, connection, identification, distress, discovery, positive experience, negative experience, and vulnerability. Findings revealed that video game discussions were significant to the participants’ overall experience in counseling. These findings informed the emerging grounded theory, Video Game Psychodynamics, which explains the process of client video game discussion in counseling. Implications for researchers and practitioners are presented.

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Counseling psychology