Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A Reason Why Video Games Are Hard To Give Up

Date:
December 28, 2006
Source:
University of Rochester
Summary:
Kids and adults will stay glued to video games this holiday season because the fun of playing actually is rooted in fulfilling their basic psychological needs. Psychologists at the University of Rochester, in collaboration with Immersyve Inc., a virtual environment think tank, asked 1,000 gamers what motivates them to keep playing. The results published in the journal Motivation and Emotion this month suggest that people enjoy video games because they find them intrinsically satisfying.

Kids and adults will stay glued to video games this holiday season because the fun of playing actually is rooted in fulfilling their basic psychological needs.

Related Articles


Psychologists at the University of Rochester, in collaboration with Immersyve, Inc., a virtual environment think tank, asked 1,000 gamers what motivates them to keep playing. The results published in the journal Motivation and Emotion this month suggest that people enjoy video games because they find them intrinsically satisfying.

"We think there's a deeper theory than the fun of playing," says Richard M. Ryan, a motivational psychologist at the University and lead investigator in the four new studies about gaming. Players reported feeling best when the games produced positive experiences and challenges that connected to what they know in the real world.

The research found that games can provide opportunities for achievement, freedom, and even a connection to other players. Those benefits trumped a shallow sense of fun, which doesn't keep players as interested.

"It's our contention that the psychological 'pull' of games is largely due to their capacity to engender feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness," says Ryan. The researchers believe that some video games not only motivate further play but "also can be experienced as enhancing psychological wellness, at least short-term," he says.

Ryan and coauthors Andrew Przybylski, a graduate student at the University of Rochester, and Scott Rigby, the president of Immersyve who earned a doctorate in psychology at Rochester, aimed to evaluate players' motivation in virtual environments. Study volunteers answered pre- and post-game questionnaires that were applied from a psychological measure based on Self-Determination Theory, a widely researched theory of motivation developed at the University of Rochester.

Rather than dissect the actual games, which other researchers have done, the Rochester team looked at the underlying motives and satisfactions that can spark players' interests and sustain them during play.

Revenues from video games—even before the latest Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox systems emerged—surpass the money made from Hollywood films annually. A range of demographic groups plays video games, and key to understanding their enjoyment is the motivational pull of the games.

Four groups of people were asked to play different games, including one group tackling "massively multiplayer online" games—MMO for short, which are considered the fastest growing segment of the computer gaming industry. MMOs are capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players simultaneously. For those playing MMOs, the need for relatedness emerged "as an important satisfaction that promotes a sense of presence, game enjoyment, and an intention for future play," the researchers found.

Though different types of games and game environments were studied, Ryan points out that "not all video games are created equal" in their ability to satisfy basic psychological needs. "But those that do may be the best at keeping players coming back."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rochester. "A Reason Why Video Games Are Hard To Give Up." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061226134706.htm>.
University of Rochester. (2006, December 28). A Reason Why Video Games Are Hard To Give Up. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061226134706.htm
University of Rochester. "A Reason Why Video Games Are Hard To Give Up." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061226134706.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Jaguar unveils a virtual 360 degree windshield that may be the most futuristic automotive development yet. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
BlackBerry Launches Classic Smartphone

BlackBerry Launches Classic Smartphone

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new smartphone called the Classic, featuring a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones - and most smartphone customers - have embraced touch screens. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Future of Work, Skills & Careers in a Digital World-Dr. Tracy Wilen

The Future of Work, Skills & Careers in a Digital World-Dr. Tracy Wilen

Working Mother (Dec. 16, 2014) 2014 Worklife Congress Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Companies Make Holiday Shopping Easier Than Ever

Tech Companies Make Holiday Shopping Easier Than Ever

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) Innovative new services allow consumers to shop with their smartphones, split bills and even haggle. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins