Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Emilija Gostautaite 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

I am a soon to be Applied Psychology graduate with a particular interest in positive psychology and video game behaviour. I am passionate about pursuing knowledge and the ways in which we can better ourselves as a result of that journey. I have a strong desire for helping people overcome life battles and any kind of struggles that come our way during our lifespan, as I believe everyone deserves a healthy and positive lifestyle. After I graduate, I aim to pursue a career in counselling or social care so I can fulfil my wish to help others.

Project Overview

The present study investigated the role of gaming motives (social, recreation, skill development, escape, coping, fantasy, & competition) and game-type preferences (single player versus multiplayer) as predictors of wellbeing. A mixed-methods correlation design was employed. The Motivations for Online Gaming Questionnaire and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale were utilised to gather data from 122 participants. Participants filled out the scales via a questionnaire distributed online. Results showed a significant interaction, with a positive correlation between gaming for recreation and wellbeing, and a negative correlation between gaming to escape and wellbeing. No impact of the remaining dimensions of gaming on wellbeing was found. The study showed strength in covering variables not previously investigated, in a robust sample group, and explored avenues to be investigated in future research.

Project Description

The present study aimed to explore the wellbeing of gamers in reference to different gaming motivations and game types played. This study’s investigation of game type eliminated the gap in the research for consideration of game genre. Furthermore, the present study aimed to continue the research of the seven motivations for gaming in relation to wellbeing. A common limitation of previous studies was the restricted participant sample size and diversity. The current study aimed to recruit adult participants from various countries and backgrounds through online recruitment. Results of the present study could provide valuable information for the way certain individuals play games and why. Additionally, the information could assist the formulating of preventative and correctional measures for individuals with poor gaming habits.

Project Findings

Findings showed that different dimensions of motives were both positively and negatively associated with wellbeing. Gaming for social, escape, competition, coping, skill development, fantasy, and recreation reasons, and preference for game-mode types accounted for 21.2% of the variance in wellbeing. The two strongest factors of this relationship were playing VG to escape real world troubles (escape; 9.42% variance) and playing VG solely for fun (recreation; 3.17% variance). Analysis revealed that preference only accounted for .576% of variation in wellbeing, a non-significant result. Furthermore, thematic analysis of participants’ opinions on the role of VG in their lives revealed the presence of eight themes: socialisation, recreation, skill development, competition, fantasy, escapism, uniqueness, and life-changing value. This reveals that the participants' perceived purpose of VG matches closely to the seven motives for gaming found in the MOGQ. The thematic analysis also revealed a large importance placed on the role of video games in the lives of many participants, admitting a positive effect on their quality of life.