Motivational differences in problem video game play

Daniel King, Paul Delfabbro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Self-determination theory states that motivation plays an important role in initiating, developing and maintaining involvement within an activity. The present study applied this theory to video game playing and surveyed 399 video game players, 82 percent of which were male with a mean age of 20.3 years old, on measures of video game playing involvement, motivation to play video games and problem video game play. Participants were obtained from various video game retail outlets, Internet cafes, and LAN gaming businesses. The results showed that extrinsic motivations to play video games, such as tension release, social approval and external regulation by in-game rewards, and amotivation, or playing without a sense of purpose about the activity, were significant predictors of problem video game playing. The results were discussed in terms of their application to identifying and assisting young people with potentially problematic levels of video game playing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cyber Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral Addiction
  • Motivation
  • Problem Involvement
  • Self-Determination
  • Video Game Play


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