Problematic playing behaviour in terms of addiction is well known to be associated with specific traits (e.g., self-esteem) and weak social settings (e.g., negative relationships). What remains unclear is the impact of playing motives on addictive tendencies. We investigated how playing motives were related to problematic playing behaviour. Using ratings indicating explicit motives and response latencies indicating the activation of implicit motives, we investigated Yee's (2006) three main playing motives: social interaction, achievement, and immersion. All three implicit motives were found to be highly activated among problematic players while only explicit immersion was judged as less important by non-problematic and excessive players. In addition, implicit immersion together with explicit immersion and playing hours were found to be strong predictors for problematic playing behaviour. We discuss motives, especially immersion, as possible risk factors for addictive tendencies when motives become internalised and therefore automatically activated by thoughts about digital games.

Explicit playing motives, Implicit and explicit measurements, Implicit playing motives, Problematic playing behaviour,
ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
Computers in Human Behavior
Department of Media and Communication

Kneer, J, & Glock, S. (2013). Escaping in digital games: The relationship between playing motives and addictive tendencies in males. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(4), 1415–1420. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.01.030