Connecting the dots
Why are we playing video games? That’s the question that caused me to start my blog and has since then been a guideline for all of my posts. Here is a short summary of all the topics that I have talked about.
To start things off, my first post gave a general introduction to the entertainment and video game industry and highlighted some records, that have been set by video games. Grand Theft Auto V, for example, was „the fastest entertainment property to gross $1 billion“ (Warr, 2013).
I then explained the uses and gratifications approach, which served as a theoretic foundation for all of my future posts. This approach explains people’s media use and selection with two main assumptions (Krcmar & Strizhakova, 2009; Ruggiero, 2000):
- people have different psychological needs that can be satisfied by media, such as video games, and
- people actively select these media offers based on their current needs and thereby have different motivations.
My third post focussed on video game uses and gratifications and specifically people’s different motivations for gaming. I presented three sets of gaming motivations, which had been identified in different scientific studies (Kahn et al., 2015; Sherry, Lucas, Greenberg & Lachlan, 2006; Yee, 2006). These motivations include, amongst others, arousal, challenge, competition, diversion, fantasy and social interaction (Sherry et al., 2006). I also made a YouTube video about this topic and explained that the different motivations for gaming are an essential part of my blog. Have a look!
After that, my next post looked at gender differences and video games. Two examples showed that there might actually be some gender differences regarding people’s motivations for playing video games. But, of course, further research on this topic is necessary.
My fifth post then examined whether the different motivations for gaming could be helpful predictors for the time that people actually spend playing video games. Two studies were able to show a connection between the different motivations and the total gaming time: especially diversion and social interaction were significant predictors (Hou, 2011; Sherry et al., 2006).
As you can see, I tried to answer my research question with different kinds of posts and hope that you found my content interesting and helpful. Maybe you are now able to explain in detail why YOU love to play video games!
By the way: If you are interested in other blogs about different entertainment topics, you can check out the Psychology of Entertainment blog, which offers a nice overview!
Thanks for reading my blog and happy gaming!
Hou, J. (2011). Uses and gratifications of social games: Blending social networking and game play. First Monday, 16(7).
Kahn, A. S., Shen, C., Lu, L., Ratan, R. A., Coary, S., Hou, J., Meng, J., Osborn, J., & Williams, D. (2015). The Trojan Player Typology: A cross-genre, cross-cultural, behaviorally validated scale of video game play motivations. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, 354-361.
Krcmar, M., & Strizhakova, Y. (2009). Uses and Gratifications as Media Choice. In T. Hartmann (Ed.), Media Choice: A Theoretical and Empirical Overview (p. 53-69). New York, NY: Routledge.
Ruggiero, T. E. (2000). Uses and Gratifications Theory in the 21st Century. Mass Communication & Society, 3(1), 3-37.
Sherry, J. L., Lucas, K., Greenberg, B. S., & Lachlan, K. (2006). Video Game Uses and Gratifications as Predictors of Use and Game Preference. In J. Bryant & P. Vorderer (Eds.), Playing Video Games: Motives, Responses, and Consequences (p. 213-224). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Warr, P. (2013). Grand Theft Auto V breaks seven Guinness World Records [WWW document]. URL http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-10/09/gta-v-guinness-world-records, last visited 16.11.2015.
Yee, N. (2006). Motivations for Play in Online Games. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 9(6), 772-775.