Accessibility of Video Game Research

So sorry to any regular readers of my posts on video games: I wrote a post this past week along with a podcast about violent video games that I could not share with a wider audience. Why? Because the article I was discussing is not open access. What does that mean? That means, in this case, that if you don’t own the rights to read the article (like by paying an exorbitant price for a subscription to a particular research journal) you can’t access me discussing in a thorough way the study and findings. This is knowledge you can’t get (maybe you are not sad about this, but I am). And you wouldn’t find the article unless I told you first what it was. I could tell you the name of the article, but I don’t want to call out this particular journal or authors (I feel like it is a systemic problem, not a particular problem with a specific journal or group of authors).

What I do want to do is this: provide you, the general reader, with articles that I find useful and interesting. I want you to have the knowledge I have access to. I think it is wrong for me to get to read these articles and benefit from them, and for you to not be able to even really know what they are saying. Knowledge is being locked up behind a pay door. And I think that is not good–especially because I think it is important knowledge. So if you are writing or thinking about video game use in education, please continue to do so. But please make your work available to the masses who actually play video games, and not just to the very few of us who happen to work at a huge university that can afford a journal subscription to read your article. Release your work under a Creative Commons license of some sort. I don’t think you want to keep your knowledge bound up where no one can read it. And we want to read it. So make it accessible, make it readable by everyone, make it available for us to use and talk about freely and openly. The world is only made worse when useful video game research (along with much other useful research) is not available to be read legally by those whom it would benefit the most. End of diatribe.

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