Different Motivations to Play

free essayComputers have become an essential part of our life controlling the most significant spheres of activity. Today people of different age groups prefer sitting in front of the monitor, rather than going for a walk or playing various active games. While there are many adults who still use their PCs for work, communication, and personal needs, the prevailing part of teenagers and children mostly spend their time playing computer games. The game industry is evolving rapidly. Various cybersport disciplines replace “old-fashioned” sports activities and become popular both among adults and the young.

The industry offers a great number of different genres and types of video games for every taste. Whether one likes to kill monsters or build one`s own city, the wishes will be fulfilled (OddBird Studio, Sparks, & Canam, 2017). There are various video game genres which include racing, sport, action, adventures, surviving, and many others (TV Tropes, n.d.). The most popular game genre that has about 24 percent of all sales is “shooter” (Statista, 2015). Therefore, one can already define the first motivation for playing. Shooters allow gamers to feel freedom in all their actions (OddBird Studio et al., 2017). People do whatever they want and, instead of punishment and misunderstanding, receive various game achievements and respect from other players.

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Various surveys reveal that there is a wide range of motivations for spending time in video games. There are such factors of motivation which can be related to most video game types and genres. These motivation factors are similar for all gamers regardless of their gender, age, usage patterns and behaviors (OddBird Studio et al., 2017). In order to simplify the perception of information, these factors can be grouped into three categories. Therefore, most of video game players find that their motivation consists of such components like achievement, socialization, and immersion (Yee, 2015). In fact, the well-implemented combination of these components can bring the game and its developers a great success and popularity. However, even one or two components are enough to meet the gamers’ desires since someone, for instance, may prefer playing alone or, on the contrary, is ready to sacrifice graphics for gameplay. As an example of the game which possesses these motivation factors, one can take “Arrow Heads” from OddBird Studio.
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Those three main motivation components consist of subcomponents. Achievement consists of three subcomponents: advancement, mechanics, and competition (Yee, 2015). Gamers interested in advancement satisfy their wishes and needs by reaching various game goals, enhancing their heroes and gaining resources. Those feel happy because they become more powerful and respected (in the game environment, of course). Competition is similar to advancement; this component relates mostly to online games where gamers can enjoy the process of competing with other people. In fact, the main thing here is not the process but the result. The pleasure of victory and domination is the crucial moment for most of the players (OddBird Studio et al., 2017). Therefore, one can already see that both competition and advancement allow gamers to experience emotions which they, for certain reasons, cannot receive in real life. Another subcomponent is mechanics; gamers who choose video games according to this factor derive satisfaction from analyzing and using the mechanics of the game environment. Having become more aware of mechanics aspects, they gain experience and power to defeat their opponents.

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The second main component is socialization. Gamers motivated by socialization seek the following activities: socializing, relationships, and teamwork (Skalski et al., 2012). Players interested in socializing enjoy communicating with other players. It is necessary for them to feel themselves engaged and useful. Such people help other players or simply chat with them through the game communication system (OddBird Studio et al., 2017). The second and third subcomponents are relationships and teamwork. Gamers who get motivated by these factors enjoy building relationships with other gamers (OddBird Studio et al., 2017). There are many game communities where players interested in communicating and team working do various missions and quests. Of course, such communication does not go beyond the game environment, but it is still enough for most of the gamers. Unfortunately, it often happens so that people who choose games according to socialization component, experience lack of communication in real life. However, by maintaining relationships in online environments they fill this gap and feel themselves full-fledged members of society.

The immersion component includes such subcomponents like discovery, role-playing, customization and escapism (Tychsen, Hitchens & Brolund, 2008). Players interested in discovery enjoy exploring the game environment and searching for new locations, quests, and resources. In this way, players who cannot afford to travel experience emotions similar to those of the real trips and journeys because most of the modern games possess such features as realistic whether and natural conditions. According to Jason Canam, one of the guest speakers, role-playing factor allows players feel immersed in a story through the eyes of their heroes. It is interesting for such users to learn different story facts which relate to their characters and the world where the game takes place. Customization factor allows players to change the appearance of their heroes, or even the game environment. Such actions allow players to attract attention from the game community and gain respect from other gamers (OddBird Studio et al., 2017). Role-playing and customization are the factors which allow gamers fully immerse in the game environment and enliven their life, when they, for certain reasons, do not have such opportunities in the real world. The last subcomponent is escapism: it is crucial for the majority of players because video games offer users an opportunity to relax and escape from real life difficulties while playing and socializing with others.

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In conclusion, video games allow people to distract themselves from real-life problems and attain higher social positions in the game communities, even if these communities are not actual. People became motivated to play in video games because they share a need for experiences they lack in their lives. Someone needs to feel engaged and useful, others seek experiences and emotions, or believe that they can find new friends, gain respect and understanding. Finally, everyone has their own reasons, and the fact is that video games have become an integral part of people`s life today.

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