Adam Lobel

About Adam Lobel

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Adam Lobel was born in Brooklyn, New York where he also attained his B.S. in Psychology at Brooklyn College (City University of New York). A study abroad semester in Amsterdam during his Bachelor’s led him back to the University of Amsterdam for his Research Master’s, specializing in social psychology and researching the behavioral influences of shame and humiliation. With his PhD at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, he researches the positive socio-emotional benefits of video gaming for children and adolescents across development. His project takes particular interest into how games empower children to become resilient in the face of failure, how various forms of social gaming benefit emotion regulation skills, and how biofeedback games can be used to train emotion regulation skills. Adam is also a seasoned speaker having delivered lectures and workshops to researchers, therapists, game designers, and the open public. Aside from keeping up with all the gaming trends, Adam is an avid concert-goer and an outdoors enthusiast.

Blog Posts

An introduction to the wide world of gaming

We have witnessed nothing less than a cultural genesis in the rise of video games. Over the last twenty to thirty years, gaming has gone from fringe to mainstream entertainment. As an industry, it now rivals Hollywood in budgets and revenue, and like Hollywood, it commands a large, diverse audience. In its evolution, gaming has […] read more

The violent gaming debate through the perspective of Self Determination Theory

I was recently invited to contribute to an article about “10 groundbreaking findings in Psychology and their applicability to (serious) game design”. This is what I had to contribute. 9 others will contribute a discussion of similar length, and we hope to be submitting our work shortly. I’ll keep this blog updated on the paper’s status.   Video game […] read more

Designing Biofeedback Games for Emotion Regulation, Behavioral Change, and Maximum Engagement: The Case of Nevermind

I was recently given the opportunity to talk about the biofeedback game Nevermind, which I performed a study on in Los Angeles in Fall 2014. Here is a link to the presentation, made during Games For Health Europe 2015 (opens in new tab). You can also get the annotated slides here. (Slides didn’t optimally convert to PDF, […] read more

Faces of DEEP

Just a collection of shots I took of people playing DEEP. DEEP is an award-winning virtual reality game developed by Owen Harris (lead designer) and Niki Smit (artist). DEEP transports players to a fantastical underwater world with just one directive: this is your world to explore. Assuming a first-person perspective, the player is engulfed in a deep, calming […] read more

DEEP de-briefing: Lessons for collecting data out in the field

Last week, my colleague Marieke van Rooij and myself ran and managed a study in the midst of Cinekid’s Medialab. This project turned out to be more ambitious than we had anticipated, but I think we pulled it off quite well. That said, I think a moment of reflection is warranted to go over all the choices and […] read more

Thought on VR & the future of “gaming”

Regarding the future of gaming and VR, a colleague recently asked me: What do you think will be big?? And Important? This is what I had to say on the matter: Aaaaah, THE FUTURE. A tricky thing to predict. I’m not surprised that Head Mounted Displays are seeming to take off; I say seeming because I have […] read more

Presentation: Gaming for Mental Health [VIDEO]

I spoke in Amsterdam last June at a Nerdnite event. Here’s how it went: read more

Using Video Games in the Context of Therapy

Platforming for positive development For a workshop I had the pleasure of delivering last week, I spoke with clinicians about using video games to aid therapy (slides available as PDF here). Off the bat I want to say that the spirit and gusto at the heart of my workshop was very much inspired by Jane […] read more

Gelderlander article – 15 seconds of fame.

A big thanks to Roeland Segeren of the Gelderlander for taking my broken Dutch interview responses and turning it into a cohesive newspaper article. Flattered to have been featured. Rough English translation: He is indeed a bit of a nerd. “I’m a researcher and I play video games” Adam Lobel (26) says with an American […] read more

Lecture: Social Interaction in Video Games

I was recently invited to give a lecture at the University of Amsterdam’s new “Gaming Studies” Master’s program. An exciting proposition, and a good excuse to sharpen my knowledge. Here’s the Lecture Description I provided which I now have to live up to 😀   Anti-social refuge or social haven: The social structures and functions […] read more

Biography and Research Interests

Video games have become a ubiquitous part of almost all children’s and adolescents’ lives. Until now, the large majority of research on the effects of “gaming” has concerned its negative impact: the potential harm related to aggression, addiction, lowered school performance and depression (e.g., Anderson et al., 2010; Carnagey & Anderson, 2004). However, the new generation of computer games have become increasingly more complex, diverse, realistic, and social in nature. In line with these characteristics of modern video games, we take a play-centered approach to understanding the potential influences of gaming. In this approach, gaming is seen as a context of play, and thus where important developmental needs can be met. For instance, as Vygotsky and Erikson postulated, children use play to experience and overcome negative emotions. Similarly, play is context where children develop perspective-taking and communication skills.

My PhD encompasses two types of projects. In my main project I supervise a longitudinal study that is being conducted on children aged 7-11 (at Wave 1 of 3); here we track the (co-)development of video game play and psycho-social development, executive functioning, and perseverance. In my other projects, I investigate the link between real world and in-game emotion regulation processes. In these studies I rely on the link between physiological and emotional states, with a focus on biofeedback.