The Psychology of Gaming – Why We Play and How It Affects Us

The Psychology of Gaming – Why We Play and How It Affects Us

If you’re looking for answers to the question, “why do we play video games?” then this book is for you. In it, Scott Rigby, Ph.D. in clinical psychology, examines how video games appeal to our basic human needs. He’s gathered years’ worth of behavioral data and conducted in-house studies for video game companies to understand how people become so engrossed in these games.

Extrinsic motivation

In gaming, there are two types of motivation: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is derived from external factors, such as badges and points that a gamer can earn by completing tasks or reaching goals. Intrinsic motivation is obtained through the feeling of satisfaction experienced when engaging in an activity or interacting with a game’s content. You can further enhance this feeling of satisfaction by using interesting mods and learning how to install sims 4 mods, among other game mods.

The difference between these two types of motivation is the type of reinforcement that is given. Games with extrinsic motivations are played for rewards, such as gold coins or prizes. Extrinsic motivations are not necessarily bad, but you should avoid extrinsic motivation in situations where the activity itself is rewarding.

The difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is most apparent in how gamers perceive the usefulness of a particular game. For example, when playing poker, gamers may be motivated by the bet-a-pot button. This feature makes it easier for extrinsically motivated gamers to make more money. Furthermore, other features of the game may increase a gamer’s perception of usefulness.

Despite the positive effects of extrinsic motivation, it isn’t enough for many gamers. Learning is hard, and sustaining internal gratification is tough. However, educational gaming can be a supplement to learning strategies and help reduce emotional stress. In addition to helping students learn, educational games may help them wind down after a hectic day.

Extrinsically motivated gamers are more likely to sign up for loyalty programs than those who are intrinsically motivated. Nonetheless, loyalty programs aren’t as important to extrinsically motivated gamers, so it’s important to consider the differences between the two types of players when segmenting your customer base.


Researchers have shown that playing a video game can be a useful form of distraction for people who are experiencing pain. In fact, playing a video game can help a person cope with pain better than other methods, such as taking medication. In addition, immersive games can divert one’s attention away from the pain.

Several studies have found that playing video games can reduce symptoms of depression and PTSD. In fact, gaming is now incorporated into electronic suicide prevention interventions. In one study, young veterans with PTSD, depression, or substance use disorders spent more time playing video games than their peers without any of these conditions. Additionally, a small qualitative study found that veterans who were diagnosed with PTSD often found help playing first-person shooter games.

This technique can also help people who are suffering from chronic pain. However, it can be difficult to practise self-distraction in the midst of chronic pain. This is why it’s important to practice these techniques when your pain is at a manageable level. For example, if you’re experiencing a bad headache, you can use a game that allows you to focus on another part of the body.

Interpersonal relationships

Gaming is a social activity that involves interpersonal relationships. Consequently, it is important to understand the social aspects of this activity. One useful concept for this purpose is interpersonal dependency. This concept describes how much we rely on others and how this dependency affects our cognition, affective responses, and actual behavioural patterns. It shares similarity with the concept of attachment, and high levels of interpersonal dependency may be indicative of insecure attachment.

This theory has implications for understanding online gaming addiction. While there is no clear link between high engagement levels and unhealthy interpersonal dependency, the latter is associated with addictive behavior and should be considered carefully. The distinction between high engagement and addictive gaming may depend on the measurement method used. A questionnaire, such as the AEQ, measures both social motivation and involvement levels. However, the underlying psychological underpinnings of gaming engagement and addictive behavior are different.

Another important idea is that gaming players exchange resources with each other. In video games, this exchange occurs through the formation of gaming clans. These clans are formed of members who share a common interest. Moreover, it can be argued that people who are central in a gaming clan tend to contribute more time and money than their counterparts.

There are a variety of studies regarding the effects of gaming on interpersonal relationships. Some research has shown that excessive gaming can cause social withdrawal and depression. However, most of the research has been conducted on people who engage in online gaming.


There are many health benefits of playing video games, including the improvement of mood and better concentration. Some studies have shown that video games can be an effective way to deal with depression. They can also improve multitasking skills. Typically, racing games require the player to control a car while racing across different game terrains, avoiding obstacles, and paying attention to a number of things at once.

However, the study’s limitations should be kept in mind. It may be possible that different types of games affect different individuals differently. It is also possible that different kinds of games are associated with different health measures. This may be the case, but it is difficult to assess these effects reliably. In addition, different types of games might appeal to different types of people.

Gaming has also been linked to many negative health effects, including poor diet and lack of exercise. Many people neglect to exercise or eat regular meals because they’re immersed in a video game. Lack of physical activity leads to poor sleep and poor health, and it also affects the eyesight. Also, inactivity is known to affect the brain.

Overuse injuries are another common health risk associated with gaming. The repetitive motion of using a video game controller can result in a painful condition known as tennis elbow. This condition affects the wrists, forearms, and hands. A patient with this condition may also experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, which narrows the passage between the hand and the arm. The condition can result in pain in the hand and a weakening of the fingernail.

Excessive gaming can also lead to poor emotional regulation, which can lead to mood problems and other mental health issues. Research shows that excessive gaming can increase the risk of developing depression and social anxiety. Though there is debate as to whether video gaming directly causes these conditions, a study by Tortolero et al. in 2014 demonstrated that participants who played video games for more than two hours a day had a higher risk of developing depressive symptoms. Several participants in our case studies also reported links between gaming disorder and social anxiety.


Addiction to video games or gaming is a serious condition, with serious health and physical consequences. Symptoms can range from increased time spent playing video games to a loss of interest in other hobbies and activities. People with video game addiction can also develop psychosocial problems, such as deception of others and negative moods.

People who suffer from an addiction to video games or gaming may be restless or irritable, and unable to concentrate for long periods of time. Their lack of motivation can also result in a negative mood or even physical injuries. An increase in anxiety and depression is also common among gamers. This condition can lead to loss of self-esteem and damage to relationships. In severe cases, the sufferer may even lie about their gaming habits.

While gaming is widely enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, it can become addictive. Although most video game players will never experience serious health consequences, it can become a habit that interferes with daily life. Although behavioural addictions are less harmful than drug or alcohol addiction, the negative effects can be serious. If you or someone you know is suffering from a gaming addiction, it is important to seek help.

Addiction to video games has become a significant problem for society. The World Health Organization has officially recognised it as a disease and has increased the number of treatment programs around the world. One addiction treatment centre in Surrey, Primrose Lodge, has seen a recent rise in patients with gaming addiction. The number of patients who suffer from video game addiction has increased ten-fold in the last two years, the Centre says.

While gaming addiction is a psychological disorder, it can also have physical consequences. Addicted gamers often spend 10 hours or more per day playing video games, resulting in exhaustion, malnutrition, and dehydration. They may also suffer from agoraphobia, a condition in which they are afraid of open spaces and do not want to leave the house. Their social lives can also be severely affected by their gaming habit.

Howard Coleman