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  • Author or Editor: Jungkyu Park x
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Background and aims

Online gaming motives have proven to be useful in differentiating problematic engagement in online gaming. However, the mixture modeling approach for classifying problematic subtypes based on gaming motives remains limited. This study attempted to differentiate heterogeneous online gamers into more homogenous subtypes based on gaming motives using latent profile analysis (LPA). We also compared various psychological and gaming/leisure related variables across the derived profiles.


A total of 674 Korean online game users (mean age = 21.81 years, male = 76%) completed self-report questionnaires, including the Korean version of the Motives for Online Gaming Questionnaire (K-MOGQ). After the LPA, the relationships between latent profile membership and auxiliary variables were explored.


Four latent profiles were identified, that were further classified into one problematic (highly motivated-dissatisfied gamer), one highly engaged (highly motivated-satisfied gamer), and two casual (moderately-motivated casual gamer and lowly-motivated casual gamer) gamer profiles. Inter-profile comparisons revealed that highly motivated-dissatisfied gamer had the most pathological profile, characterized by high Internet gaming disorder (IGD) tendency, neuroticism, and impulsivity, but the lowest recreation motive. While highly motivated-satisfied gamer also demonstrated a heightened IGD tendency, they showed positive patterns of psychological and gaming/leisure-related variables, which indicated they could be better considered as high engaged instead of problematic gamers.

Discussion and conclusions

These results indicate that the recreation motive, in addition to fantasy or escape motives, is an important factor in differentiating maladaptive online gamers. Classifying online gamers based on gaming motives can contribute to a clearer conceptualization of heterogeneous gamers, paving the way for individualized assessment and treatment planning.

Open access