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Thursday, January 4, 2007
 
What Keeps Gamers Playing?
8:08 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester and virtual environment think tank Immersyve may offer insight into the deeper reasons players keep playing their favorite games. Through pre- and post-game questionnaires of 1,000 participants the study aimed to evaluate players' motives for playing rather than dissect the game mechanics. The researchers found that opportunities for achievement, freedom, and connection with other players were more important than the general sense of "fun" created by the game itself.

"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.

"It's our contention that the psychological 'pull' of games is largely due to their capacity to engender feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness," adds 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.
Read more at the Gamasutra site offered below.

Gamasutra: Deeper Emotions Keep Gamers Playing


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