The Game We Play: Mini-Podcast Series

As part of WSUM’s collaboration with Patricia Hasting’s Journalism 457, today will feature the eighth, of nine, mini-podcast series created by the class. Enjoy these mini-podcast series that give a brief look into a variety of topics, with the topic for this series being on the gaming community amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.

THE GAME WE PLAY

by Gretchen Gerlach

Screen time has significantly increased since the pandemic’s onset more than a year ago. We are spending more time on social media, Zoom calls and streaming services than ever before. And video gaming is up, too. One estimate has gamers spending 30% more time playing video games per week and spending nearly 40% more on new games to play. For me, the burning question is why? Why do people spend hours, and even the better part of their weekends, playing video games? For a non-gamer, like myself, the answer is not obvious. The gaming industry is flawed, sexist and with several barriers to entry. Yet  several people in my life still love it. Experts in the industry and an avid gamer weigh in to share how the online community can be a more inclusive, accessible place.

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In Episode 1 of The Game We Play, avid video gamer Chandler discusses why he enjoys gaming and introduces listeners to the sometimes toxic online culture.

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In Episode 2 of The Game We Play, University of Wisconsin Madison Professor Derek Johnson breaks down the structures underpinning the gaming industry, some of which are rooted in sexism, racism and the like.

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In Episode 3 of The Game We Play, UW Madison Associate Professor Shawn Green explains his psychology lab’s research about the benefits of playing video games.