Recent research has found that age and playing experience moderates people‟s opinions regarding video games‟ negative effects while the perception of the cause of game play – game play motivation – was not considered so far. This study investigated how age and playing expertise influence perceived game play motivations. A survey was performed on a sample of mixed age (N = 374). Categories found for perceived playing motivations for violent video games were: virtual aggression, fun/challenge, catharsis, boredom, and social. Fun/challenge was found to be the main motivations for both, non-players and players. However, age positively and playing experience negatively predicted the importance of the perceived motivation virtual aggression while the opposite pattern was found for fun/challenge. The discussion focuses on: 1.) How we should deal with such in- and out-group perceptions in game studies, 2.) how beliefs about player motivations influence further perceptions, and 3.) the necessity of understanding how society‟s perception of games can influence game science itself.

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Keywords game play motivations, playing expertise, age, perception, violent video games
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Journal Simulation and Gaming
Kneer, J, Jacobs, R.S, & Ferguson, C. (2018). You could have just asked: The perception of motivations to play violent video games. Simulation and Gaming, 6(2). doi:10.11114/smc.v6i2.3389