Situational and gender comparisons of digital game players' preferences for game features and gratifications

CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, Brenda Dervin

    Research output: Working paperResearch

    Abstract

    As with “new media” fifty years ago, today's “new media” are scrutinized from the uses and gratifications perspective to understand peoples’ reasons for engaging with them. The new media of interest in this paper are digital games.  Research is in the early stages with this medium, exploring player gratifications from game playing and preferences for game playing features.  This research has consistently found gender differences for both, with men more preferring competition gratifications and violent games, and women preferring socializing gratifications and puzzles.  Past research has mostly looked at digital games in aggregate, not differentiating between game playing situations.  This study measured the game playing gratifications and feature preferences of male and female players for three game playing situations: playing a game players liked, one they disliked, and one they desired.  Generally, gender differences from past research were reconfirmed as men had higher gratifications and preferences overall than women.  Additionally, game playing situation differences were significant, with imagined games rated highest and disliked games lowest on all game playing gratifications and game feature preferences.  In addition, 64,3% of the gender by situation interactions were also significant, showing that introducing game playing situation complicated the picture with some gender differences disappearing depending on the game situation.  These results showed a tendency for male players to be receiving what they desired from the games they liked, whereas the female players were not having these desires met. 
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Keywords

    • gender
    • situationality
    • uses and gratifications
    • video games

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