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

Julia Kneer (Corresponding Author), Ruud Jacobs, Christopher J Ferguson

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalStudies in Media and Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


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