To various reasons for playing such as coping and escape (Hussain and Griffiths, 2009; Schneider et al., 2018), socialization (Laconi et al., 2017), and personal satisfaction (Ng and Wiemer-Hastings, 2005). Coping (Laconi et al., 2017), social interaction, and competition were among the main reasons for gaming among males but not among females (Lucas and Sherry, 2004). Mixed results emerged concerning age differences (Greenberg et al., 2010), but especially younger gamers seemed to be motivated for video gaming by social interactions (Hilgard et al., 2013). However, so far it remains unclear to what extent people’s various reasons for playing video games are differentially related to their psychological functioning.Besides investigating the links https://k9winkh.com
between potentially problematic video game use and psychological functioning as well as between reasons for playing video games and psychological functioning, it is relevant to also look at which game genres individuals prefer. Correlates of preferences for certain game genres (e.g., simulation, strategy, action, role-playing) are cognitive enhancement (Dobrowolski et al., 2015; Bediou et al., 2018), but also the amount of time spent playing (Lemmens and Hendriks, 2016; Rehbein et al., 2016) and psychopathological symptoms (Laconi et al., 2017). Males were shown to prefer action and strategy games, whereas females showed a preference for games of skill (Scharkow et al., 2015; Rehbein et al., 2016). Younger gamers seemed to prefer action games, older players more so games of skill (Scharkow et al., 2015). However, it is not yet understood to what extent preferences for certain video game genres are differentially related to psychological functioning.
Typically, research has focused merely on violent video games
Or one specific game within one specific game genre (frequently World of Warcraft; Graham and Gosling, 2013; Visser et al., 2013; Herodotou et al., 2014), thereby neglecting the variety of possible gaming habits across various game genres.In the present study, our objective was to examine the relation between video gaming and psychological functioning in a fine-grained manner. For this purpose, we examined psychological functioning by employing various variables such as psychological symptoms, coping strategies, and social support. Likewise, we assessed video gaming in a similarly detailed way, ranging from (a) problematic video game use, (b) the reasons for playing, to (c) the preferred game genres. This strategy prevented us from making potentially invalid generalizations about video gaming in general and allowed us to examine the spectrum of gaming habits and the respective relations between such habits and a diverse set of variables representing psychological functioning.A total of N = 2,891 individuals (2,421 male, 470 female) with a mean age of 23.17 years (SD = 5.99, Range: 13–65) participated in our study. Of these participants, N = 2,734 (95%) confirmed their use of video games and were thus included in further analyses (2,377 male, 357 female, with a mean age of 23.06 years; SD = 5.91, Range: 13–65). The distribution of participants with regard to sex and age mirrors the findings of past research with males and younger individuals being more likely to play video games (e.g., Griffiths et al., 2004). Participants’ place of residence was Germany.
Playing video games excessively should be appealing
To individuals with poor psychological functioning because games allow people to avoid their everyday problems and instead immerse themselves in another environment (Taquet et al., 2017). Moreover, video games offer people a chance to connect with other people socially despite any more or less evident psychological problems they may have (Kowert et al., 2014b; Mazurek et al., 2015). On the other hand, potentially problematic video game use may also lead to psychological problems because it reduces the amount of time and the number of opportunities gamers have to practice real-life behavior (Gentile, 2009). Thus, we expected to find a negative correlation between problematic video gaming and variables representing psychological functioning such that we expected more potentially problematic video game use to be related to dysfunctional coping strategies (Wood and Griffith, 2007), negative affectivity (Mathiak et al., 2011), and poor school performance (Mihara and Higuchi, 2017). Moreover, we expected to find differential correlates of people’s reasons for playing video games and their psychological functioning: Playing for escape-oriented reasons such as distraction should go along with diverse indices of poor psychological functioning (Király et al., 2015), whereas playing for gain-oriented reasons such as the storyline or the social connections in the game should be related to adequate psychological functioning (Longman et al., 2009). Also, we expected to find people’s preferred game genres (e.g., strategy, action) to be differentially related to their psychological functioning (Park et al., 2016). Finally, we aimed to shed light on the unique contribution of each measure of psychological functioning to the prediction of problematic video game use.