Young people’s use of video games as entertainment: Motivations and perceived implications, with a focus on the social aspects of video gaming.
Date: 23 September 2019
University of Exeter
Doctorate in Educational, Child and Community Psychology
Children’s motivation for video gaming (the activity of playing video games), and specifically their social motivation for playing, is a relatively new field of academic academic enquiry. Growing concern over adolescents’ and children’s use of video games, and the time they spend playing, has spawned research on the possibility of video ...
Children’s motivation for video gaming (the activity of playing video games), and specifically their social motivation for playing, is a relatively new field of academic academic enquiry. Growing concern over adolescents’ and children’s use of video games, and the time they spend playing, has spawned research on the possibility of video ‘gaming disorder’ (Faust & Prochaska, 2018). ‘Gaming disorder’, which is included with the 11th revision of the ICD (International classification of diseases), is described as impaired control over (video) gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities and continued video gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences (World Health Organisation, 2018). Consequently, video gaming is an activity of recent interest and through this project I will aim to explore children and young people’s motivations for video gaming, how they are accessing/using video games, along with potential problematic use of video games within a population of young people in the South West of England. In order to understand young people’s experience of playing video games a mixed methods, two phase, research design was used. The first phase of this study employed the use of questionnaires incorporating an adapted version of the Internet Addiction Test (Young, 1998). The participants in Phase 1 were from a mixture of primary and secondary UK schools. These children were in school years 4/5 (8-10 years old) and years 8/9 (12-14 years old). Results from the adapted version of the questionnaire demonstrated that 16.8% of the 214 participants experienced a high level of video game preoccupation, and that male participants and primary school aged participants were more vulnerable to video game preoccupation. The data also revealed that just over a quarter of the participants typically played video games for at least three hours in one sitting, while just under half of the participants played video games at least once a day. Phase 2 of this research involved 27 participants who were involved in Phase 1. These participants took part in semi-structured interviews which were analysed using Braun and Clarke’s model of thematic analysis (2006). The participants’ responses revealed their perceptions on a range of, both positive and negative, impacts video gaming has upon their social interactions, their social opportunities, their learning, their mood and their overall wellbeing. This project adds to the growing body of research regarding young people’s uses and experiences of video gaming, and the social implications for young people who participate in the activity. This thesis concludes with an exploration of the limitations of this research, future directions for study and the implications for educational psychology practice.
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