The popularity of video gaming has generated significant interest in research methods to examine motivations for gaming. Current measures of gaming motives are limited by lack of scope and/or their applicability to specific game genres only. We aimed to create a comprehensive motivation inventory applicable to any gaming genre and to evaluate its psychometric properties in a large sample of highly engaged video gamers.
Stage 1 of this project involved a systematic review that generated the items for the Gaming Motivation Inventory (GMI). Stages 2–4 involved an evaluation of the psychometric properties of the GMI. A sample of 14,740 video gamers (89.3% male; mean age 24.1 years) were recruited via an online survey promoted by a popular gaming magazine.
In Stage 2, twenty-six gaming motives were identified, which clustered into six higher-order dimensions (Mastery, Immersion/Escapism, Competition, Stimulation, Social, Habit/Boredom). In Stage 3, construct validity of the six higher-order motives was assessed by associations with gaming-related, personality, and psychological variables. In Stage 4, the relationships between motives and depression symptoms and gaming disorder symptoms were explored. Although gaming motives had weak associations with gaming genres, they were moderately related to variables such as competitiveness, sociability, and positive and negative affect. Gaming disorder symptoms were directly predicted by depression symptoms and indirectly via Immersion/Escapism, Habit/Boredom, and Competition motives.
Discussion and conclusions
These findings support the notion that motives are one of the primary causes of gaming behavior and play an important role in predicting its problematic nature. The GMI is a psychometrically valid tool that will be useful for gaining insights into factors underlying gaming behaviors.
The present paper provides an overview of the possible risks, harms, and challenges that might arise with the development of the esports field and pose a threat to professional esports players, spectators, bettors and videogame players, including underage players. These include physical and mental health issues, gambling and gambling-like elements associated with videogames and esports, the challenges arising from pursuing a career in esports, the unique difficulties women face, and a need for supporting professional esports players. It briefly discusses possible responses and suggestions regarding how to address and mitigate these negative consequences. It emphasizes the need for cooperation and collaboration between various stakeholders: researchers, policymakers, regulators, the gaming industry, esports organizations, healthcare and treatment providers, educational institutes and the need for further evidence-based information.