Near Miss in a Video Game: an Experimental Study

Turi Reiten Finserås, Elfrid Krossbakken, Ståle Pallesen, Rune Mentzoni, Daniel L. King, Mark D. Griffiths, Helge Molde

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Models to explain persistent and excessive gaming behavior have proposed that reward characteristics in video games influence gaming behavior, yet these characteristics have received minimal empirical attention to date. The present study employed an experimental approach to examine how a near miss and other different outcomes (a win or loss with small and large margin, respectively) influence gaming behavior and subjective experiences and evaluations of the game. A total of 40 participants competed against four avatars in a counterbalanced repeated measure design with four scenarios: (a) losing by a large margin, (b) losing by a small margin, (c) winning by a small margin, and (d) winning by a large margin. Outcome measurements included the urge to continue playing, affective response, game evaluation, and regret. Repeated measure ANOVAs with post hoc tests were employed to assess outcomes across the scenarios. Participants reported greater frustration and regret when losing compared to winning and tended to evaluate the games they won more positively than the games they lost. Participants felt more bored and less excited when they experienced a near miss compared to winning by a large margin. The results show that winning in video games influences players’ experiences and perceptions differently than losing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Early online date29 Mar 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
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  • Gaming
  • Internet gaming disorder
  • Near miss
  • Reward characteristics
  • Structural characteristics
  • Video game psychology


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