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FILA 150 Video Games Class Guide


Welcome to the FILA 150 Video Games Course Guide. This guide is designed to help you with your research project for this class. You need to find three academic, peer-reviewed sources for this assignment. This guide is designed to help you to:

If you're having trouble with this assignment, I am more than happy to help, as is BC's other research librarian, Vickie. Feel free to email us at or make an appointment using the button below:

Selecting a Topic

For your Video Games paper assignment, you should consider what aspects of video games interest you the most.

When trying to select a topic, make sure that it is something manageable. If you're researching video games' impact on mental health, you'll want to narrow it down, because you can't possibly cover that amount of information in a short literature review such as this. Instead, you might like to narrow your topic down by looking at the effect of video games on mental health of Gen Z individuals. 

Below, you'll find a couple of sources that will help you in this pre-writing/topic formation stage:

Keyword Searching

Keywords are the terms you will use to search for information. Just typing in your entire topic sentence is not an efficient way to search. Here are some tips for using keywords effectively.

As you search for resources, consider what you might like to write about in your paper and use this as a keyword.


  • If you're interested in the effect of video games on mental health in generation Z individuals, some keywords might be:
    • "video games," effect, impact, "gen Z," "United States"
    • Note: when you are using a phrase like video games, make sure to search it in quotation marks to ensure the words appear together in your search results
  • I've included "United States," because it might be more relevant for you to look at results that talk about adulthood in American society than those from another culture. On the flip side, if you're interested in what it means to be an adult elsewhere in the world, maybe try searching for a different location.

As you're searching:

  • Look for other relevant keywords
  • Keep track of the terms and indicate which ones are most successful
  • See if there are any relevant subject terms you might like to use

Subject Headings

Librarians love to organize information. One way we do this is by using subject headings. Since some subjects can be described using various terms (like cats or felines), librarians have come up with a standardized list, or controlled list, of subjects that can be used when describing resources. This list (known as the Library of Congress Subject Headings) provides the controlled vocabulary that every librarian uses when they describe the subject of a book, DVD, or any other object in the library's catalog.

The easiest way to understand subject headings is to see it in action. The most convenient example is the library's catalog. When you pull up the full record of a title, it will give you the subject heading for that item hyperlinked, so you can search for other titles with that descriptor. 

 Example of Subject terms from catalog


You also will find subject headings in many of our online databases (like Academic Search Complete), where they help organize thousands of articles. They may not utilize the same list of subjects as the Library of Congress, you can still approach searching them the same way as in the library's catalog.

image of subject terms of Academic Search Complete