Player Types and Quality Perceptions: A Social Cognitive Theory Based Model to Predict Video Game Playing

Player Types and Quality Perceptions: A Social Cognitive Theory Based Model to Predict Video Game Playing

René Weber (University of California Santa Barbara, USA) and Patrick Shaw (Michigan State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jgcms.2009010105
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Abstract

Little is known about how people select, play, and evaluate video games. Video game developers, for example, are forced to make multi-million dollar decisions based on hunches and guesses. Through social cognitive theory, one can understand video game playing as an overt behavior determined by expected outcomes as a result of direct and observational learning processes. Players have different theoretically derived needs for playing video games and use symbolic representations of their experiences with video games (quality perceptions) to determine whether playing a specific video game will satisfy those needs. A series of in-depth interviews and a subsequent survey with students of a large mid-western university was conducted to enumerate groups of similar players (player types), and video game quality perceptions. Both concepts were used to provide empirical evidence for a model to predict video game playing. Results show that the best prediction models are those that include player type specific quality perceptions.

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