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Control on Online Game Addiction

Published April 2, 2021

The achievement and escapism gaming motivations are predictors of the psychological ownership of the virtual gaming world

Xunyi Wang, Mohamed Abdelhamid, G. Lawrence Sanders,  Exploring the effects of psychological ownership, gaming motivations, and primary/secondary control on online game addiction (Decision Support Systems,  May , 2021)

Online gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries. There have been major evolutionary changes in technology in recent years. Disruptive technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence have changed the dynamics of gaming and its consequences. In addition, the covid-19 pandemic has pushed more people to online games and virtual worlds. Our study examines the influence of gaming motivation and primary-secondary control on online game addiction. Our findings shed light on this alarming issue and provide several practical implications. For example, our findings show that escapism and achievement are positively associated with psychological ownership of virtual gaming worlds which leads to online game addiction. In other words, people are motivated to play online games in pursuit of escape and achievement. We also find that those who tend to control people around them are more likely to addict to online games.
Our results provide several practical implications, detailed in the paper. For example:

  • For educators: we recommend incorporating achievement and escapism types of games in the online educational environment. This is especially important in the covid-19 era where traditional classes have to be taught remotely. Game publishers also have an opportunity to step into a new market where many of the students are gamers.
  • For publishers: we provide several implications to game developers and publishers to improve games by focusing on improving the social functionalities and “Replayability” of games. The gaming industry is lacking behind social platforms and missing an opportunity to provide an eco-system for their user base. Game publishes that develop a robust gaming platform as well as provide a rich social media platform will increase their market share as gamers will be drawn to a platform that achieves both capabilities.
  • For policymakers: we provide implications to mitigate online gaming addiction. We strongly encourage legislative initiatives related to the age of gamers, time limits, and the digital content of the games.
  • For players: we shed light on the type of games and the type of players that are associated with online game addiction. We, also, recommend choosing easy or hard mode to mitigate the likelihood of online game addiction