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In this article a new psychological model of the gaming experience is proposed which aims to explain what mental processes and variables influence the psychology of the gaming experience of individuals when they play computer games and how the experience itself influences player specific variables like the attitude towards the specific game. Given that the gaming industry is forecasted to grow to over 287 billion US Dollars in 2026 while the game design field lacks coherent theories on game design and the psychology of gaming, developing this theory might offer benefit to researchers and game developers as well as individual gamers and community builders. The psychological model is based to the definition of a computer game described in the Anatomy Model of Computer Games paper (Dokter, 2021). However the anatomy model only describes what a computer game is, but is insufficient to explain what variables influence the quality of the gaming experience, neither does it aim to predict why individuals play a certain game. For construction of the Gaming Experience Model knowledge is synthesized from the reasoned action approach in psychology, specifically the Integrative Model of Behaviour Prediction (Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010), which was adapted for the behaviour of gaming. Combined with theories on media enjoyment like Green and Bocks’ (2000) Transportation Theory, Graaf et al (2012) Identification theory and the possible influence of the Need for Cognition concept, in order to explain why some individuals enjoy more complex games, (Petty & Cacioppo, 1982; Petty, Loersch & Briñol 2009). An interactive model is proposed that aims to predict why an individual decides to play a certain game and what constitutes a quality gaming experience and how this experience influences players attitudes towards a specific game. A Standardized Gaming Experience questionnaire is presented to quantify the quality of the individuals gaming experience.

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