A Reason Why Video Games Are Hard To Give Up

Science Daily
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

"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

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

"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


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