The mediation effects of gaming motives between game involvement and problematic Internet use: Escapism, advancement and socializing
Shan-Mei Chang, Grace M.Y. Hsieh, Sunny S.J. Lin, Institute of Education
Computers & Education Volume 122, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
The main purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal mediation effects of multiple gaming motives from online game involvement to problematic Internet use (PIU). In terms of mediators, the present study included three specific gaming motivations - escapism, advancement, and socializing. A sample of 389 gamers participated in the study from freshman to junior college years. Gaming involvement was collected at the freshman year, motives at sophomore, and PIU at junior. Initially, the three gaming motives were examined separately for their longitudinal mediation effects in a series of single-mediator models. Next, the three motives were simultaneously included in a multiple-mediator model to compare the relative levels of their mediation effects from gaming involvement to PIU across a period of two years. In the multiple-mediator model, the most compelling results showed that escapism and advancement were positively associated with PIU, yet socializing was not; socializing failed to significantly predict later PIU. Also, the direct effect of gaming involvement on PIU was weak and failed to reach significant level, contradicting to the findings of previous cross-sectional studies. Many game players experience great pleasure from immersing themselves in a virtual world, and often to the extent of developing addictive symptoms. This phenomenon is referred to as “pull” effect which is considered comparable to the motive of “pursuing in-game advancement” in the present study. Conversely, frustrations or other negative experiences in real life might also bring about a “push” effect that tugs players into gaming. The motive of escapism from the real-life in this study resembles the so-called “push” effect. The authors suggest when gamers demonstrated social motive during game time, such as participating in a gamer community and collaborating with the others despite being socially withdrawn in real life, it would be less reasonably to be regarded as PIU. During game time, if gamers experience a temporary sense of well-being, it might help to vent their real-life frustration. However, an excessive use of this emotion-focused coping strategy might still increase the risk of PIU.
Chang, S.M., Hsieh, G.M.Y. & Lin, S.S.J. (2018). The mediation effects of gaming motives between game involvement and problematic Internet use: Escapism, advancement and socializing. Computers & Education, 122(1), 43-53. Elsevier Ltd.