Thorsten Quandt

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Thorsten Quandt
Alma mater University of Bochum

Thorsten Quandt is the professor of online communication at the University of Münster, Germany. [1] He has a particular interest in online communication, digital games and (online) journalism. He (co)authored more than 150 scientific articles and several books, [2] including Participatory Journalism, [3] which was influential in establishing the citizen journalism model. He has edited numerous books, primarily in the field of online media and digital games research, including the books Multiplayer [4] and The Video Game Debate. [5] His work was awarded with several scientific prizes, including international Top Paper Awards, [6] the dissertation award of the German Communication Association, [7] and an ERC grant (European Excellency Programme). [8]


Education and career

Quandt graduated with a master's degree in Communication Studies from the University of Bochum. He began teaching in 1998 at the Technical University of Ilmenau, where he received his doctoral degree in 2004. [9] From 2003 to 2007, he worked as a senior researcher at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich. [10] In 2007 and 2008, he was an assistant professor at the Free University Berlin, [11] and he received his habilitation from the LMU in 2008. [6] In 2009, he obtained the chair of Interactive Media and Online Communication from the University of Hohenheim, [6] where he also served as the Director of the Institute of Communication Studies. Since 2012, he has been the chair for online communication at the University of Münster, Germany. [12] Quandt has given lectures at various other universities, and was a visiting professor at Stanford University, [13] the University of Oxford, [14] the University of California, Santa Barbara [15] and a visiting researcher at the Indiana University, Bloomington. [6]

Quandt is the founding chair of the “Digital Games Research” section of the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), [16] and a member of the Executive Board of ECREA. [17] He is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Communication, [18] and a board member of the journals Communication Theory [19] and Digital Journalism. [20] He has been the secretary of the Journalism Studies Division in the International Communication Association (ICA), [21] and the chairman of the Journalism Studies Division in the German Communication Association. [22]

Quandt has been a member of various boards and committees, including committees of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the European Research Council, [23] the Academy of Finland, the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, [24] ECREA, the German Communication Association DGPuK, and he worked as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals. [6] He received several international and national research awards, [6] [7] as well as an ERC grant (European excellency programme). [8] He was nominated twice on the top list of „40 most significant young scientists in Germany“ by the national trade journal Capital. [25]

Research fields

Quandt's work is focusing the impact and social aspects of digital games use, [26] participatory journalism, [27] and risk factors of online communication, like online and video game addiction, [28] media induced aggression [29] and cyberbullying. [30] While Quandt's work is also focusing the problematic side of digital media use, he asks for a neutral and balanced perspective on media use, including positive aspects of use. Quandt argues that research on digital media has to ‘normalize’ and move beyond a state of repeating moral panics. [31] He is one of the authors of an open debate paper [32] to the WHO, criticizing the introduction of Gaming Disorder as a "disorder due to addictive behaviors" in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases, which they see as a result of a "moral panic around the harm of video gaming". The authors mention several "fundamental issues" [32] of Gaming Disorder in their paper, which triggered a public debate. [33] [34] [35] [36]

Quandt's large-scale, representative survey studies on online gamers [37] were widely cited, [38] as they did not support the popular notion of notable differences between gamers and non-gamers. This is especially true for his analyses on digital games addiction that showed a relatively low level of stable problematic behavior. [28] His team's work on sexism among gamers [39] was picked up by the international press and gamers alike, [40] as the measured differences between gamers and non-gamers in the study were marginal. The research was also discussed in relation to the gamergate controversy. However, Quandt and colleagues pointed out that their research does not necessarily prove the non-existence of sexism in specific gamer groups or the content itself, but that it rather supports the notion that gaming has become mainstream entertainment in modern societies thus approaching an average level of sexism. [41] [42]

In an interdisciplinary project on the analysis of social bots and their use in online propaganda, Quandt and colleagues develop computer-supported and automatic identification methods. [43] During the project, they observed the German elections 2017. The team identified attempts at manipulating the public, including an unsuccessful Twitter attack on the electoral debate between chancellor Merkel and the social-democrat Schulz. [44] The attackers were identified by journalists as a right-wing extremist group called Reconquista Germanica. [45]

Selected books

Selected journal publications

Related Research Articles

Computer addiction is a form of behavioral addiction that can be described as the excessive or compulsive use of the computer, which persists despite serious negative consequences for personal, social, or occupational function. Another clear conceptualization is made by Block, who stated that "Conceptually, the diagnosis is a compulsive-impulsive spectrum disorder that involves online and/or offline computer usage and consists of at least three subtypes: excessive gaming, sexual preoccupations, and e-mail/text messaging". Computer addiction is not currently included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as an official disorder. The concept of computer addiction is broadly divided into two types, namely offline computer addiction, and online computer addiction. Offline computer addiction is normally used when speaking about excessive gaming behavior, which can be practiced both offline and online. Online computer addiction, also known as Internet addiction, gets more attention in general from scientific research than offline computer addiction, mainly because most cases of computer addiction are related to the excessive use of the Internet.

Game studies, or ludology, is the study of games, the act of playing them, and the players and cultures surrounding them. It is a field of cultural studies that deals with all types of games throughout history. This field of research utilizes the tactics of, at least, folkloristics and cultural heritage, sociology and psychology, while examining aspects of the design of the game, the players in the game, and the role the game plays in its society or culture. Game studies is oftentimes confused with the study of video games, but this is only one area of focus; in reality game studies encompasses all types of gaming, including sports, board games, etc.

Alternative media are media sources that differ from established or dominant types of media in terms of their content, production, or distribution. Sometimes the term independent media is used as a synonym, indicating independence from large media corporations, but this term is also used to indicate media enjoying freedom of the press and independence from government control. Alternative media does not refer to a specific format and may be inclusive of print, audio, film/video, online/digital and street art, among others. Some examples include the counter-culture zines of the 1960s, ethnic and indigenous media such as the First People's television network in Canada, and more recently online open publishing journalism sites such as Indymedia.

An online game is a video game that is either partially or primarily played through the Internet or any other computer network available. Online games are ubiquitous on modern gaming platforms, including PCs, consoles and mobile devices, and span many genres, including first-person shooters, strategy games, and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG). In 2019, revenue in the online games segment reached $16.9 billion, with $4.2 billion generated by China and $3.5 billion in the United States. Since 2010s, a common trend among online games has been operating them as games as a service, using monetization schemes such as loot boxes and battle passes as purchasable items atop freely-offered games. Unlike purchased retail games, online games have the problem of not being permanently playable, as they require special servers in order to function.

<i>OXO</i> 1952 video game/naughts-and-crosses simulator

OXO is a video game developed by A S Douglas in 1952 which simulates a game of noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe). It was one of the first games developed in the early history of video games. Douglas programmed the game as part of a thesis on human-computer interaction at the University of Cambridge.

Henry Jenkins American media scholar

Henry Jenkins III is an American media scholar and Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts, a joint professorship at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He also has a joint faculty appointment with the USC Rossier School of Education. Previously, Jenkins was the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities as well as co-founder and co-director of the Comparative Media Studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has also served on the technical advisory board at ZeniMax Media, parent company of video game publisher Bethesda Softworks. In 2013, he was appointed to the board that selects the prestigious Peabody Award winners.

Mass communication is the process of imparting and exchanging information through mass media to large segments of the population. It is usually understood for relating to various forms of media, as these technologies are used for the dissemination of information, of which journalism and advertising are part. Mass communication differs from other forms of communication, such as interpersonal communication and organizational communication, because it focuses on particular resources transmitting information to numerous receivers. The study of mass communication is chiefly concerned with how the content of mass communication persuades or otherwise affects the behavior, the attitude, opinion, or emotion of the people receiving the information.

<i>24sata</i> (Croatia)

24sata is a daily newspaper published in Zagreb, Croatia. As of 2007, it is the highest-circulation daily newspaper in Croatia. It is also most visited news website in Croatia and leading news source on social media platforms.

Video game addiction Addiction to computer and video games

Video game addiction, also known as gaming disorder or internet gaming disorder, is generally defined as the problematic, compulsive use of video games that results in significant impairment to an individual's ability to function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time. This and associated concepts have been the subject of considerable research, debate, and discussion among experts in several disciplines and has generated controversy within the medical, scientific, and gaming communities. Such disorders can be diagnosed when an individual engages in gaming activities at the cost of fulfilling daily responsibilities or pursuing other interests without regard for the negative consequences. As defined by the ICD-11, the main criterion for this disorder is a lack of self control over gaming.

Citizen media

Citizen media is content produced by private citizens who are not professional journalists. Citizen journalism, participatory media and democratic media are related principles.

<i>Het Nieuwsblad</i> Flemish daily newspaper

Het Nieuwsblad is a Flemish newspaper that mainly focusses on "a broad view" regarding politics, culture, economics, lifestyle, society and sports.

Participatory media is media where the audience can play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating content. Citizen / Participatory Journalism, Citizen Media, Empowerment Journalism and Democratic Media are related principles.

Internet addiction disorder Excessive internet use that causes psychological disorders.

Internet addiction disorder (IAD), also known as problematic internet use or pathological internet use, is generally defined as problematic, compulsive use of the internet, that results in significant impairment in an individual's function in various life domains over a prolonged period of time. Young people are at particular risk of developing internet addiction disorder, with case studies highlighting students whose academic performance plummets as they spend more and more time online. Some also suffer health consequences from loss of sleep, as they stay up later and later to chat online, check for social network status updates or to reach the next game levels.

Terry Flew is an Australian media and communications scholar who from 2021 works in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Sydney, Australia. He was formerly the Professor and Assistant Dean (Research) in the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology. He has produced award-winning research in creative industries, media and communications, and online journalism. He is primarily known for his publication, New Media: An Introduction, which is currently in its fourth edition. His research interests includes digital media, global media, media policy, creative industries, media economics, and the future of journalism.

Cathode-ray tube amusement device

The cathode-ray tube amusement device is the earliest known interactive electronic game as well as the first game to incorporate an electronic display. The device simulates an artillery shell arcing towards targets on a cathode-ray tube (CRT) screen, which is controlled by the player by adjusting knobs to change the trajectory of a CRT beam spot on the display in order to reach plastic targets overlaid on the screen. Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann constructed the game from analog electronics and filed for a patent in 1947, which was issued the following year. The gaming device was never manufactured or marketed to the public, so it had no effect on the future video game industry. Under most definitions, the device is not considered a video game, as while it had an electronic display it did not run on a computing device. Therefore, despite its relevance to the early history of video games, it is not generally considered a candidate for the title of the first video game.

Problematic social media use proposed medical diagnosis related to overuse of social media

Psychological or behavioral dependence on social media platforms can result in significant impairment in an individual's function in various life domains over a prolonged period. This and other relationships between digital media use and mental health have been considerably researched, debated, and discussed among experts in several disciplines, and have generated controversy in medical, scientific, and technological communities. Research suggests that it affects women and girls more than boys and men and that it varies according to the social media platform used. Such disorders can be diagnosed when an individual engages in online activities at the cost of fulfilling daily responsibilities or pursuing other interests, and without regard for the negative consequences.

Sexism and video games Gender-based prejudice or discrimination related to video games

Sexism in video gaming is prejudiced behavior or discrimination based on sex or gender as experienced by people who play and create video games, primarily women. This may manifest as sexual harassment or in the way genders are represented in games, such as when characters are presented according to gender-related tropes and stereotypes.

Since their inception in the 1970s, video games have often been criticized for violent content. Politicians, parents, and other activists have claimed that violence in video games can be tied to violent behavior, particularly in children, and have sought ways to regulate the sale of video games. Numerous studies have shown no connection between video games and violent behavior; the American Psychological Association state there is little to no evidence connecting violence to video games, though do state there is an increase in aggression that can result from playing violent video games.

Multimedia journalism

Multimedia journalism is the practice of contemporary journalism that distributes news content either using two or more media formats via the Internet, or disseminating news report via multiple media platforms. It is inseparably related to the media convergence of communication technologies, business integration of news industries, and editorial strategies of newsroom management.

Digital media use and mental health Relationship between the use of digital media and the mental health of its consumers and users

The relationships between digital media use and mental health have been investigated by various researchers—predominantly psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and medical experts—especially since the mid-1990s, after the growth of the World Wide Web. A significant body of research has explored "overuse" phenomena, commonly known as "digital addictions", or "digital dependencies". These phenomena manifest differently in many societies and cultures. Some experts have investigated the benefits of moderate digital media use in various domains, including in mental health, and the treatment of mental health problems with novel technological solutions.


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  4. Quandt, T., & Kröger, S. (Eds.) (2014). Multiplayer. The social aspects of digital gaming. London: Routledge
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  27. Domingo, D., Quandt, T., Heinonen, A., Paulussen, S., Singer, J., & Vujnovic, M. (2008). Participatory journalism practices in the media and beyond: an international comparative study of initiatives in online newspapers. Journalism Practice, 2(3), 326-342.
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  29. Breuer, J., Festl, R., Vogelgesang, J., & Quandt, T. (2015) Violent video games and physical aggression: Evidence for a selection effect among adolescents. Psychology of Popular Media Culture (Online First). doi: 10.1037/ppm0000035
  30. Festl, R.; Quandt, T. (2013). "Social relations and cyberbullying: The influence of individual and structural attributes on victimization and perpetration via the Internet". Human Communication Research. 39 (1): 101–126. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2958.2012.01442.x.
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