A comprehensive model to understand and assess the motivational background of video game use: The Gaming Motivation Inventory (GMI)

Orsolya Király, Joël Billieux, Daniel L. King, Róbert Urbán, Patrik Koncz, Eszter Polgár, Zsolt Demetrovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Background and aims: The popularity of video gaming has generated significant interest in research methods to examine motivations for gaming. Current measures of gaming motives are limited by lack of scope and/or their applicability to specific game genres only. We aimed to create a comprehensive motivation inventory applicable to any gaming genre and to evaluate its psychometric properties in a large sample of highly engaged video gamers. 

Methods: Stage 1 of this project involved a systematic review that generated the items for the Gaming Motivation Inventory (GMI). Stages 2-4 involved an evaluation of the psychometric properties of the GMI. A sample of 14,740 video gamers (89.3% male; mean age 24.1 years) were recruited via an online survey promoted by a popular gaming magazine. 

Results: In Stage 2, twenty-six gaming motives were identified, which clustered into six higher-order dimensions (Mastery, Immersion/Escapism, Competition, Stimulation, Social, Habit/Boredom). In Stage 3, construct validity of the six higher-order motives was assessed by associations with gaming-related, personality, and psychological variables. In Stage 4, the relationships between motives and depression symptoms and gaming disorder symptoms were explored. Although gaming motives had weak associations with gaming genres, they were moderately related to variables such as competitiveness, sociability, and positive and negative affect. Gaming disorder symptoms were directly predicted by depression symptoms and indirectly via Immersion/Escapism, Habit/Boredom, and Competition motives. 

Discussion and conclusions: These findings support the notion that motives are one of the primary causes of gaming behavior and play an important role in predicting its problematic nature. The GMI is a psychometrically valid tool that will be useful for gaining insights into factors underlying gaming behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-819
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Issue number3
Early online date8 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2022


  • addictive
  • behavior
  • gaming disorder
  • motivation
  • psychometrics
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • video games


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