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Abstract

Media psychological research has identified a broad range of gratifications that can result from playing digital games and fuel players’ entertainment experiences. Most of these studies focused on pleasurable, hedonic entertainment experiences (i.e., enjoyment). However, scholarship increasingly acknowledges that digital games can also offer more profound (eudaimonic) entertainment experiences, characterized by the feeling of being moved and the experience of meaningfulness (i.e., appreciation). Knowledge about the antecedents of this form of digital game entertainment experiences is still sparse; thus, the present study investigates the role of well-established gaming gratifications for the emergence of both enjoyment and appreciation. In addition, trait-like preferences for eudaimonic and hedonic entertainment (i.e., entertainment motivations) are investigated as possible antecedents of players’ entertainment experiences. Empirically, the study builds on a 2-wave online survey of U.S. players of the action-roleplaying game Mass Effect: Andromeda (n = 1,074). The findings show that obtained gaming-specific gratifications are closely related to players’ enjoyment but also to their appreciation of the game. In contrast, trait-like entertainment motivations only exert a small influence on both entertainment experiences. Implications for theorizing and investigating gaming entertainment experiences are discussed.

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... Rather, research exploring the discrete gratifications that players seek out from gaming mostly stressed the importance of gaming qualities such as agency, competence, social interaction (De Grove et al., 2016;Ryan et al., 2006), fantasy and roleplaying or escapism (Scharkow et al., 2015;Sherry et al, 2006;Yee, 2006). Most of these gratifications have theoretically and empirically been associated more with the enjoyment of gaming rather than with eudaimonic outcomes (Possler et al., 2020;. ...
... Hence, a recent scoping review on eudaimonic concepts in the gaming literature concludes a "relative neglect of eudaimonic motivations" (Daneels et al., 2021a, p. 186). One possible explanation for the lack of findings on eudaimonic gaming motivations is given by Possler et al. (2020), who suggest that players might not seek out games for eudaimonic reasons, but rather experience eudaimonia 'by accident' in search of fun. ...
... (2) differences in players' motivations across games, (3) the predictive power of motivations on users' intention to play the respective game, and (4) relationships between motivations and players' stable eudaimonic and hedonic orientations in life (Huta & Ryan, 2010) and trait-like game preferences (Possler et al., 2020). ...
Conference Paper
Studies have demonstrated the eudaimonic capacity of digital games, but less clear is whether gameplay is eudaimonically motivated. The present study examined potential eudaimonic motivations of gaming fans of five different upcoming games (N = 1163). Factor analysis reported ‘eudaimonic growth’ as a distinct gaming motivation alongside ‘absorption’ and ‘social interaction.’ Eudaimonic motivations were positively related with real-life eudaimonic orientations and game preferences, but negatively related to players’ intention to play.
... Building on the notions of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in positive psychology (Ryan & Deci, 2001), we differentiate two types of game experience: hedonic and eudaimonic. While hedonic experience focuses on game enjoyment, eudaimonic describes experience that is beyond basic pleasure, for instance self-acceptance and human virtue (Oliver et al., 2018;Possler et al., 2020). Thus, the main purpose of our research is to underpin how an in-game purchase is motivated by the pursuit of eudaimonic game experience in the context of MMORPGs. ...
... For example, while Huang and Hsieh (2011) and Chou and Kimsuwan (2013) suggest that game enjoyment has a positive effect on one's purchase intention, Hamari (2015) argues that a negative effect also exists. Yet, the hedonic aspect only concerns happiness and pleasure attainment, whereas the eudaimonic aspect is around meaning and self-actualization (Ryan & Deci, 2001), so focusing on hedonic aspects of game-playing alone may only provide a narrow view of the experience, as players also seek self-acceptance and meaning, namely eudaimonic aspects of the experience, from their gameplay (Oliver et al., 2018;Possler et al., 2020;Przybylski et al., 2012). ...
... Players of MMORPGs co-create the game experience and "coexperience" it. In-game purchases can be driven by eudaimonic experience, which captures the "meaningfulness" of game experience (Oliver et al., 2018;Possler et al., 2020). For eudaimonic experience, one of the fundamental changes is the ability to create meaning and direction in life (Ryff & Singer, 2008). ...
Article
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The consumption of virtual items and other forms of in‐game content is rapidly increasing in the Massively Multiple Player Online Role‐Playing Games market. While psychological need satisfaction obtained through purchasing virtual items to achieve hedonic game experience remains at the center of the debate, most of these studies neglect the eudaimonic game experience and do not differentiate between the psychological experiences from functional items and nonfunctional items. Our research employs the eudaimonic game experience perspective to explore the psychological need satisfaction individuals achieve through purchasing functional and nonfunctional items. From interviews with 25 players, a novel finding is that, while competence, autonomy, relatedness, and purpose in life contribute to one's eudaimonic game experience, each psychological need has its own unique dimensions for different virtual product types. Competence and purpose in life are needs driven by two factors: inner‐directed consumption intention, emphasizing aspiration for authenticity and personal growth; and other‐directed consumption intention, focusing on motivations that elicit, for example, positive responses from others and receiving social awards. Such results are only apparent for functional items but not for nonfunctional items. In contrast, autonomy and relatedness are needs explained by one's inner‐directed consumption intention, across both product types.
... For instance, some refer to "eudaimonic appreciation" as an outcome of gameplay (Bowman et al., 2016;Chen, 2017;Elson et al., 2014;Taylor & Shafer, 2019). Others use the terms appreciation, eudaimonia, and eudaimonic entertainment experiences interchangeably when describing gaming outcomes (Possler et al., 2020;Wulf & Baldwin, 2020), with a few suggesting that appreciation is an outcome of having had an (undefined) eudaimonic game experience (Bowman, Wasserman, & Banks, 2018;Cole & Gillies, 2019;Koban & Bowman, 2021;Reer & Quandt, 2020). Moreover, the reviewed works differ in how they specify game elements eliciting appreciation, which also impacted how those papers conceptualized appreciation itself. ...
... Finally, our review revealed that some eudaimonic concepts identified in the context of other media (mostly movies) received little interest in digital games research so far: (1) eudaimonic motivations and (2) self-transcendent experiences. The former was only mentioned in four studies in our review (Banks & Bowman, 2014;Kosa & Uysal, 2020;Possler et al., 2020;Wulf & Baldwin, 2020). For example, Possler et al. (2020) adapted a measure on trait-like preferences for hedonic and eudaimonic movie entertainment (Oliver & Raney, 2011) to investigate how these motivations affect players' entertainment response to a given game. ...
... The former was only mentioned in four studies in our review (Banks & Bowman, 2014;Kosa & Uysal, 2020;Possler et al., 2020;Wulf & Baldwin, 2020). For example, Possler et al. (2020) adapted a measure on trait-like preferences for hedonic and eudaimonic movie entertainment (Oliver & Raney, 2011) to investigate how these motivations affect players' entertainment response to a given game. The relative neglect of eudaimonic motivations in the reviewed literature is remarkable given the large amount of research on player motivations in general (for an overview, see . ...
Conference Paper
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Digital games have evolved into a medium that moves beyond basic toys for distraction and pleasure towards platforms capable of and effective at instigating more serious, emotional, and intrapersonal experiences. Along with this evolution, games research has also started to consider more deeply affective and cognitive reactions that resemble the broad notion of eudaimonia, with work already being done in communication studies and media psychology as well as in human-computer interaction. These studies offer a large variety of concepts to describe such eudaimonic reactions—including eudaimonia, meaningfulness, appreciation, and self-transcendence—which are frequently used as synonyms as they represent aspects not captured by the traditional hedonic focus on enjoyment. However, these concepts are potentially confusing to work with as they might represent phenomenological distinct experiences. In this scoping review, we survey 82 publications to identify different concepts used in digital gaming research to represent eudaimonia and map out how these concepts relate to each other. The results of this scoping review revealed four broad conceptual patterns: (1) appreciation as an overarching (yet imprecise) eudaimonic outcome of playing digital games, (2) covariation among meaningful, emotionally moving/challenging, and self-reflective experiences, (3) the unique potential of digital games to afford eudaimonic social connectedness, and (4) other eudaimonia-related concepts (e.g., nostalgia, well-being, elevation). The paper provides a conceptual map of the current research landscape on eudaimonic game entertainment experiences, and outlines recommendations for future scholarship, including how a focus on digital games contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of eudaimonic media experiences.
... Several game characteristics have the potential to explain why games are able to generate eudaimonic experiences. Through technological and artistic innovations in game design, digital games today often possess high quality, emotionally complex and involving narratives that can lead to eudaimonic game experiences (Kümpel & Unkel, 2017;Oliver et al., 2016;Possler, Kümpel, & Unkel, 2019a;Rogers, Woolley, Sherrick, Bowman, & Oliver, 2017). Oliver and colleagues (2016), for example, found that mainly the game's story led to the eudaimonic appreciation of game experiences. ...
... Next to these narrative aspects, digital games also include game mechanics (i.e., rules defining all interaction options, controls) and social interactions with both NPCs (i.e., non-playable characters) and other human players that should be accounted for when studying eudaimonic game experiences (Elson, Breuer, Ivory, & Quandt, 2014). While some studies have found that game mechanics only contribute to hedonic or fun 5 experiences Rogers et al., 2017), other findings contradict this, explaining that mechanic-based gratifications can also lead to eudaimonic game experiences (Possler et al., 2019a). The latter finding on the importance of mechanics for eudaimonic game experiences is supported by Elson and colleagues' (2014) notion that game mechanics (e.g., player interface, audiovisual feedback cues) can enhance and augment the game narrative, and that mechanics seem to be needed for a genuine game experience. ...
... While studies have found playing together fulfills the need for relatedness and subsequently leads to enjoyment (Tamborini, Bowman, Eden, & Grizzard, 2010), more recent studies found that relatedness, more than the needs of autonomy and competence, also leads to eudaimonic appreciation . By meeting new people and making friends through games (i.e., building social capital), and through deeper connections with others, players can have eudaimonic game experiences (Elson et al., 2014;Possler et al., 2019a;Rogers et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Research shows that media entertainment can induce eudaimonic or meaningful experiences, such as being emotionally moved or being stimulated to reflect about oneself. While these studies have primarily focused on adults’ eudaimonic media entertainment experiences, the current study explores whether games can lead to eudaimonic experiences amongst adolescents, for instance, via characteristics like emotionally deep stories and moral choices. Games are very popular among adolescents, while eudaimonic experiences may possibly fulfill key needs of identity development and peer relatedness as well as prove to be beneficial for adolescents’ well-being and overall development. To explore adolescents’ eudaimonic game experiences, we performed a qualitative study existing of six focus groups (N = 33) and 20 individual in-depth interviews (total N = 53). Results indicate that adolescents do experience eudaimonic game moments. Specifically, they experienced socially bonding, reflective (about oneself and society), emotionally moving, and elevating moments. These were considered particularly meaningful when they were somehow connected to real life. Finally, adolescents mostly mentioned narrative aspects (i.e., the game’s story, characters, moral choices), other real players, and audiovisual aspects like graphics and soundtrack as important elicitors of eudaimonic game experiences. Limitations and future research suggestions are further discussed.
... Several game characteristics have the potential to explain why games are able to generate eudaimonic experiences. Through technological and artistic innovations in game design, digital games today often possess high quality, emotionally complex and involving narratives that can lead to eudaimonic game experiences (Kümpel & Unkel, 2017;Oliver et al., 2016;Possler, Kümpel, & Unkel, 2019a;Rogers, Woolley, Sherrick, Bowman, & Oliver, 2017). Oliver and colleagues (2016), for example, found that mainly the game's story led to the eudaimonic appreciation of game experiences. ...
... Next to these narrative aspects, digital games also include game mechanics (i.e., rules defining all interaction options, controls) and social interactions with both NPCs (i.e., non-playable characters) and other human players that should be accounted for when studying eudaimonic game experiences (Elson, Breuer, Ivory, & Quandt, 2014). While some studies have found that game mechanics only contribute to hedonic or fun 5 experiences Rogers et al., 2017), other findings contradict this, explaining that mechanic-based gratifications can also lead to eudaimonic game experiences (Possler et al., 2019a). The latter finding on the importance of mechanics for eudaimonic game experiences is supported by Elson and colleagues' (2014) notion that game mechanics (e.g., player interface, audiovisual feedback cues) can enhance and augment the game narrative, and that mechanics seem to be needed for a genuine game experience. ...
... While studies have found playing together fulfills the need for relatedness and subsequently leads to enjoyment (Tamborini, Bowman, Eden, & Grizzard, 2010), more recent studies found that relatedness, more than the needs of autonomy and competence, also leads to eudaimonic appreciation . By meeting new people and making friends through games (i.e., building social capital), and through deeper connections with others, players can have eudaimonic game experiences (Elson et al., 2014;Possler et al., 2019a;Rogers et al., 2017). ...
Presentation
The current study contributes to the emerging fields of positive media psychology and meaningful media entertainment research, by studying how adolescents’ digital game use (1) leads to meaningful and thought-provoking experiences, and (2) induces moral elevation. This study employs a qualitative research design that combines focus group discussions among adolescent players to explore this novel topic with in-depth interviews to extract individuals’ personal experiences.
... In line with the evolution of the medium, scholars from different research fields increasingly view digital games not solely as 'fun machines' that offer their players rich hedonic experiences such as enjoyment, but are beginning to shed light on more complex, fundamental reactions to games . Echoing recent developments in entertainment research (Vorderer & Reinecke, 2015), human-computer interaction (HCI; Bopp, Mekler, & Opwis, 2016), and positive psychology (Ryan & Deci, 2001), these profound dimensions of the digital game experience have often been labelled 'eudaimonic' (e.g., Daneels, Vandebosch, & Walrave, 2020;Oliver et al., 2016;Possler, Kümpel, & Unkel, 2020). However, these and other studies across multiple fields of research on eudaimonic game experiences employ a great range of concepts, which are often used synonymously and/or are not clearly defined. ...
... However, it is also plausible that players do not specifically turn to games in the search for meaning, personal growth or being moved, but are rather primarily motivated by experiencing pleasure. Hence, eudaimonic experiences may be states that players 'happen to find' while being 'on the road to fun' (Possler et al., 2020). Additionally, only two studies in our review dealt with self-transcendent experiences and related emotions such as elevation (P23, P25). ...
Article
Full-text available
Digital games have evolved into a medium that moves beyond basic toys for distraction and pleasure towards platforms capable of and effective at instigating more serious, emotional, and intrapersonal experiences. Along with this evolution, games research has also started to consider more deeply affective and cognitive reactions that resemble the broad notion of eudaimonia, with work already being done in communication studies and media psychology as well as in human-computer interaction. These studies offer a large variety of concepts to describe such eudaimonic reactions-including eudaimonia, meaningfulness, appreciation, and self-transcendence-which are frequently used as synonyms as they represent aspects not captured by the traditional hedonic focus on enjoyment. However, these concepts are potentially confusing to work with as they might represent phenomenological distinct experiences. In this scoping review, we survey 82 publications to identify different concepts used in digital gaming research to represent eudaimonia and map out how these concepts relate to each other. The results of this scoping review revealed four broad conceptual patterns: (1) appreciation as an overarching (yet imprecise) eudaimonic outcome of playing digital games; (2) covariation among meaningful, emotionally moving/challenging, and self-reflective experiences; (3) the unique potential of digital games to afford eudaimonic social connectedness; and (4) other eudaimonia-related concepts (e.g., nostalgia, well-being, elevation). This review provides a conceptual map of the current research landscape on eudaimonic game entertainment experiences and outlines recommendations for future scholarship, including how a focus on digital games contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of eudaimonic media experiences broadly.
... Besides motivations, we also study gaming enjoyment to discover possible individual differences between people of different sexual orientations and gender personality traits. The investigation of enjoyment next to motivations is pertinent since pleasure associated with gaming can be experienced more or less strongly depending on gaming motivations and experiencing pleasure can affect particular gaming motivations (Jansz et al., 2010;Possler et al., 2020;Rieger et al., 2014;Wu & Liu, 2007). Experimental studies have shown that games with characteristics that fulfill autonomy, competence, and relatedness as intrinsic needs lead to higher enjoyment of the game (Reer & Krämer, 2020;Reinecke et al., 2012;Tamborini et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Introduction Existing research has focused on sex and gender to explain video games playing motivations and enjoyment. This study investigated gender traits and sexual orientation to further explain why people play games and what leads to gaming enjoyment. Methods Participants ( N = 198) answered questions on gender traits (positive/negative feminity/masculinity), gaming motivations, enjoyment, sexual orientation (32.0% of the sample belonged to the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community, later LGB community), and demographics. Results Only certain gender traits are linked to specific gaming motivations. Negative masculinity increased competence and relatedness while negative femininity decreased autonomy. Similar results were found for sexual orientation. LGB people showed less competence and intuitive control motivations. Additionally, LGB people spent more time playing video games than non-LGB people. They reported playing puzzles more as well. No other differences were found for game genre selection. Discussion The lack of differences based on sexual orientation and gender traits shows that video games offer an environment for everybody and thus have the potential to bring people together.
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Creating emotionally engaging mobile applications requires consideration of constantly evolving technology, content richness, usability, and user experience (UX). UX plays an important role in promoting long-term usage. We focused on the emotional aspects of UX design of mobile applications. In particular, we adopted the concept of feelings of being (FoB) – also known as existential feelings – in the context of mobile UX design. We presented an in-depth literature review covering 112 articles (2005–2021) on human-computer interaction, UX, mobile application development, mobile learning, and emotional engagement. Of these articles, 16 discussed FoB in the context of mobile applications. Building on the results of literature analysis and other previous research, we presented a FoB model for mobile application design comprising 13 FoB (ownership, engagement, contribution, security, trust, adjustability, enjoyment, empowerment, effectiveness, frustration, excitement, gratification, and needs fulfilment) and the hedonic and eudaimonic aspects of UX. Finally, we validated the FoB model through nine design projects, proposed design recommendations based on the model, and present considerations on extending the model with additional elements.
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Over the past 20 years, the proposal that immersive media, such as video games, can be leveraged to enhance brain plasticity and learning has been put to the test. This expanding literature highlights the extraordinary power of video games as a potential medium to train brain functions, but also the remaining challenges that must be addressed in developing games that truly deliver in terms of learning objectives. Such challenges include the need to: (1) Maintain high motivation given that learning typically requires long-term training regimens, (2) Ensure that the content or skills to be learned are indeed mastered in the face of many possible distractions, and (3) Produce knowledge transfer beyond the proximal learning objectives. Game design elements that have been proposed to support these learning objectives are reviewed, along with the underlying psychological constructs that these elements rest upon. A discussion of potential pitfalls is also included, as well as possible paths forward to consistently ensure impact.
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Some mass communications scholars have contended that uses and gratifications is not a rigorous social science theory. In this article, I argue just the opposite, and any attempt to speculate on the future direction of mass communication theory must seriously include the uses and gratifications approach. In this article, I assert that the emergence of computer-mediated communication has revived the significance of use and gratifications. In fact, uses and gratifications has always provided a cutting-edge theoretical approach in the initial stages of each new mass communications medium: newspapers, radio and television, and now the Internet. Although scientists are likely to continue using traditional tools and typologies to answer questions about media use, we must also be prepared to expand our current theoretical models of uses and gratifications. Contemporary and future models must include concepts such as interactivity, demassification, hypertextuality, and asynchroneity. Researchers must also be willing to explore interpersonal and qualitative aspects of mediated communication in a more holistic methodology.
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This article proposes a theoretical explanation for the popularity of violent video games among adolescent male gamers. The author uses theories about media and emotion as well as theories about emotion as a process to develop a model for the unfolding of emotion in violent video games. It is argued that violent video games provide a gratifying context for the experience of emotions. The fact that gamers are largely in control of the game implies that they can voluntarily select the emotional situations they confront. This freedom is attractive for adolescents who are in the midst of constructing an identity. For them, the violent game is a safe, private laboratory where they can experience different emotions, including those that are controversial in ordinary life. Gamers may deliberately select emotions that sustain dominant masculine identity (e.g., anger), as well as emotions that are at odds with dominant masculinity (e.g., fear).
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Industry and scholarly sources both argue that multiplayer gaming and competition are important factors in creating enjoyment, but relatively little empirical work demonstrates this claim. This study uses an experimental design (N = 139) to evaluate the effects of different multiplayer modes on enjoyment, allowing participants to interact naturally with a confederate partner and manipulating both game mode and partner behavior in a game of Madden '08. Results show that enjoyment is significantly enhanced by the combination of competitive play and a friendly partner, and demonstrate that the quality of interpersonal interaction only partly accounts for this.
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This study applies social capital theory to investigate how a player’s network centrality in an online gaming community (i.e., a guild) affects his/her attitude and continuance intention toward a Massive Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG). Analysis of 347 usable responses shows that players’ network centrality has a negative impact on their ties to players who belong to other guilds (i.e., non-guild interaction), but a positive effect on players’ access to resources. However, players’ network centrality fails to increase their perceived game enjoyment directly. Players’ resource accessibility and perceived game enjoyment play mediating roles in the relationship between network centrality and attitude toward playing an MMOG, which in turn influences game continuance intention. The results also show that although players’ non-guild interaction is negatively related to their resource accessibility from the networks, it is positively associated with perceived game enjoyment. The article concludes with implications and limitations of the study.
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Video games are often framed as sites of play and entertainment. Their transformation into work platforms and the staggering amount of work that is being done in these games often go unnoticed. Users spend on average 20 hours a week in online games, and many of them describe their game play as obligation, tedium, and more like a second job than entertainment. Using well-known behavior conditioning principles, video games are inherentlywork platforms that train us to become better gameworkers. And thework that is being performed in video games is increasingly similar to the work performed in business corporations. The microcosm of these online games may reveal larger social trends in the blurring boundaries between work and play.
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Research indicates that the extent to which one becomes engaged, transported, or immersed in a narrative influences the narrative's potential to affect subsequent story-related attitudes and beliefs. Explaining narrative effects and understanding the mechanisms responsible depends on our ability to measure narrative engagement in a theoretically meaningful way. This article develops a scale for measuring narrative engagement that is based on a mental models approach to narrative processing. It distinguishes among four dimensions of experiential engagement in narratives: narrative understanding, attentional focus, emotional engagement, and narrative presence. The scale is developed and validated through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses with data from viewers of feature film and television, in different viewing situations, and from two different countries. The scale's ability to predict enjoyment and story-consistent attitudes across different programs is presented. Implications for conceptualizing engagement with narratives as well as narrative persuasion and media effects are discussed.
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The present article contributes to the growing corpus of scholarship that seeks to shed light on how the entertainment-education (E-E) strategy can be implemented and evaluated across diverse media platforms. Because a transmedia approach to storytelling is a natural, albeit an understudied extension of the E-E strategy, the researchers investigate how involvement with one interactive storytelling format, flash games, influences audience involvement and message outcomes. The researchers’ evaluation of audience involvement with an interactive narrative in a flash game, designed as one element of a national transmedia campaign to increase milk consumption, demonstrated that narrative understanding was related to participants’ (N=157) experiences of feeling involved with the game (i.e., transportation), although significant changes in message-related beliefs, attitudes and behavioural intentions were not related to transportation. Transportation was positively related to enjoyment of the game, but frustration with gaming challenges negatively influenced transportation and enjoyment. This study illustrates the need for further investigation of involvement with stories in interactive media platforms, and, most importantly, the continued exploration of the strengths and limitations associated with incorporating transmedia storytelling elements into E-E campaigns.
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This comment briefly examines the history of entertainment research in media psychology and welcomes the conceptual innovations in the contribution by Oliver and Bartsch (this issue). Theoretical perspectives for improving and expanding the “appreciation” concept in entertainment psychology are outlined. These refer to more systematic links of appreciation to the psychology of mixed emotions, to positive psychology, and to the psychology of death and dying–in particular, to terror management theory. In addition, methodological challenges are discussed that entertainment research faces when appreciation and the experience of “meaning for life” need to be addressed in empirical studies of media enjoyment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This paper points to new developments in the context of entertainment theory. Starting from a background of well-established theories that have been proposed and elaborated mainly by Zillmann and his collaborators since the 1980s, a new two-factor model of entertainment is introduced. This model encompasses “enjoyment” and “appreciation” as two independent factors. In addition, several open questions regarding cultural differences in humans’ responses to entertainment products or the usefulness of various theoretical concepts like “presence,” “identification,” or “transportation” are also discussed. Finally, the question of why media users are seeking entertainment is brought to the forefront, and a possibly relevant need such as the “search for meaningfulness” is mentioned as a possible major candidate for such an explanation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The purpose of this research is to broaden the conceptualization of entertainment selection to identify not only pleasure-seeking (hedonic concerns) as a motivator, but to also recognize that individuals may choose media as a means of “truth-seeking” (eudaimonic concerns). This article conceptualized and developed measures to illustrate that entertainment can be used as a means of experiencing not only enjoyment, but also as a means of grappling with questions such as life's purpose and human meaningfulness. Four studies were conducted in the development of these measures, providing evidence for their validity in terms of entertainment preference and individual differences, and illustrating how these motivations predict preferences for entertainment that elicits unique affective experiences.
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This article introduces an explication of video game players' identification with a game character or role that is based on social-psychological models of self-perception. Contrasting with conventional ("dyadic" ) notions of media user-character relationships (e.g., parasocial interaction or affective disposition theory), ("monadic" ) video game identification is defined as a temporal shift of players' self-perception through adoption of valued properties of the game character. Implications for media enjoyment, the measurement of identification, and media effects are discussed.
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This article elaborates upon the notion of media enjoyment in the context of film viewing by proposing a complementary type of gratification that we conceptualize as appreciation. Three studies were conducted to tap into the multidimensionality of viewers' entertainment gratifications with a special focus on the domain of more serious, poignant, and pensive media experiences typically associated with genres such as drama, history, documentary, or art films. These studies provide evidence of and measurement for gratifications related to fun and suspense, but also gratifications related to moving and thought-provoking entertainment experiences, with all three gratifications leading to perceptions of entertainment having a more long-lasting or enduring effect. The results are discussed with regard to the theoretical conceptualization of entertainment gratification.
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This article suggests an integrated view of media entertainment that is capable of covering more of the dimensional complexity and dynamics of entertainment experiences than existing theories do. Based on a description of what is meant by complexity and dynamics, the authors outline a conceptual model that is centered around enjoyment as the core of entertainment, and that addresses prerequisites of enjoyment which have to be met by the individual media user and by the given media product. The theoretical foundation is used to explain why people display strong preferences for being entertained (motivational perspective) and what kind of consequences entertaining media consumption may have (effects perspective, e.g., facilitation of learning processes).
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To date, most research into massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) has examined the demographics of play. This study explored the social interactions that occur both within and outside of MMORPGs. The sample consisted of 912 self-selected MMORPG players from 45 countries. MMORPGs were found to be highly socially interactive environments providing the opportunity to create strong friendships and emotional relationships. The study demonstrated that the social interactions in online gaming form a considerable element in the enjoyment of playing. The study showed MMORPGs can be extremely social games, with high percentages of gamers making life-long friends and partners. It was concluded that virtual gaming may allow players to express themselves in ways they may not feel comfortable doing in real life because of their appearance, gender, sexuality, and/or age. MMORPGs also offer a place where teamwork, encouragement, and fun can be experienced.