You Could Have Just Asked: The Perception of Motivations to Play Violent Video Games

Julia Kneer, Ruud Jacobs, Christopher J Ferguson

Abstract


Recent research has found that age and playing experience moderates people’s opinions regarding video games’ negative effects while the perception of the cause of game play – game play motivation – was not considered so far. This study investigated how age and playing expertise influence perceived game play motivations. A survey was performed on a sample of mixed age (N = 374). Categories found for perceived playing motivations for violent video games were: virtual aggression, fun/challenge, catharsis, boredom, and social. Fun/challenge was found to be the main motivations for both, non-players and players. However, age positively and playing experience negatively predicted the importance of the perceived motivation virtual aggression while the opposite pattern was found for fun/challenge. The discussion focuses on: 1.) How we should deal with such in- and out-group perceptions in game studies, 2.) how beliefs about player motivations influence further perceptions, and 3.) the necessity of understanding how society’s perception of games can influence game science itself.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/smc.v6i2.3389

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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