Authors: Kathleen Teh and Marguerite Sendall
Digital gaming is an exponentially growing, multibillion-dollar industry. The largest cohort of adolescents in global history has now taken this up across every continent. The World Health Organization has noted the phenomenon and is calling for more research into young people's perceptions. Opinion is divided over the risks and benefits of digital gaming, leading to some confusion about the design and implementation of various strategies to promote the health, wellbeing, and development of adolescents. Specifically, there is a dearth of literature on the ways adolescents experience digital gaming from their perspectives. This paper reviews what is known about adolescent experience with digital gaming and argues the importance of exploring this further. A pilot, qualitative study using phenomenography as a methodology is proposed to identify the different ways Australian urban adolescents (13-15 years) experience digital gaming. Preliminary results may challenge prevailing views of adolescent digital gaming with implications for the development and refinement of effective preventative and intervention strategies in the future.
Keywords: digital gaming; adolescents; conceptions; phenomenography; variation theory.