Why We Play: A Revealing Online Psychology Study

An online psychology study in Psychological Science  has revealed that one of the primary motivators for playing games is to narrow the gap between their ideal self and real self.

Research participants reported how they would like to experience themselves (their ideal self) and how they experienced themselves whilst playing games. In instances where a video game brought the gamer closer to their ideal self participants were found to be more intrinsically motivated to play.

So, what games do you most enjoy playing? What characters to you feel most attached to? How do those games and characters relate to your ideal life? Asking these questions might provide enlightening answers.

Some Ideas to Make Use of this psychology study

Ask what games you like playing

Ask why the experience of those games is more entertaining than real life

Ask how you could experience real life more like your favourite games.

Read Arolemodel.com’s take on the psychology of games: 

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Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.

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