The Relation of Motivation Factors for Online Games With Personality Disorders, Addiction, Shyness, and Loneliness in Kuwait

The Relation of Motivation Factors for Online Games With Personality Disorders, Addiction, Shyness, and Loneliness in Kuwait

Hasan Abbas
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/IJGCMS.295873
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Drawing on the self-development theory (SDT), this study examines the relation between the factors that motivate online gaming and the effects of addiction, shyness, and loneliness. The authors have modified the SDT theory by adding intrinsic and extrinsic factors to measure the degree of its effect on addiction in online gaming settings. Next, they develop a special instrument to measure gamers' experience and their level of addiction. The sample is 671 online gamers who participated in an online survey. A confirmatory factor analysis and structured equation modeling tests are conducted to identify reliable factors and the goodness of fit of the research model. The findings show that the effect of addiction on shyness and loneliness is minor. Furthermore, loneliness is affected mostly by anxiety of others. In addition, the challenge of meeting the goals of gaming has the greatest effect on addiction. The study offers important implications for decision makers among family members such as parents and among society in general such as policy makers to avoid the side effects of online gaming.
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Hofstede (2014) identifies Kuwait as a collectivist society. This type means the Kuwaiti population leans more towards being socially driven than individually driven. Also, he considers Kuwait to have a masculine dimension based on his research. However, after the diffusion in Kuwait, many cultural values have changed. For example, Wheeler, (2001) concludes that the wide spread of the internet in Kuwait during the 1990s has made people cross gender boundaries “and to protest the state’s new gender law.”

Since the massive inflation of online gaming usage around the globe, professionals and researchers have shown an exceptional interest in understanding the effects of this overuse and its psychological underpinnings (Kuss et al., 2012). Players of online games have different motivations to engage in playing and are faced with different side effects if playing reaches an exaggerated limit. Players aim is to satisfy unmet needs such as interpersonal connections (Billieux et al., 2013) and other reasons (Lemercier et al., 2021).

Although studying the motivation behind online gaming is an important topic, there are few formal theories on motivation in the literature on online gaming (Demetrovics et al., 2011; Z. Hussain et al., 2015; King & Delfabbro, 2014). The Self-Determination Theory (SDT) “is a broad framework for understanding factors that facilitate or undermine intrinsic motivation, autonomous extrinsic motivation, and psychological wellness” (Richard M. Ryan & Deci, 2020). Accordingly, the SDT is an important theory that studies intrinsic and extrinsic motivations related to the research on gaming. This theory offers multidimensional conceptualizations that describe the motivations behind gaming to assess level and type of motivation (Lafrenière et al., 2012, p. 827). Since its introduction, this theory has attracted a wide range of scholars who have applied it to many domains such as health care (Ntoumanis et al., 2021), leadership (Kanat et al., 2020), exercising (Kanat et al., 2020), and academia (Kaur & Noman, 2020). However, it has not been applied to measure the negative effects of motivational factors on personality disorders, such as addiction, loneliness, and shyness.

Addiction is an excessive use of something and the inability to stop that use. According to Goodman (1990), it is characterized by powerlessness and unmanageability. The overuse of online gaming makes the gamer feel the need to be alone more and more, not to be disturbed while enjoying playing, and to not be concerned about the negative consequences. This overuse should have a negative effect and push the gamer to avoid offline social meetings that leads to the development of a sense of shyness that leads to a greater feeling of loneliness. Loneliness is a crucial area of research, especially recently due to the intensive use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and the massive exploration of online games. Most definitions follow that of Peplau & Perlman (1982); they say that loneliness is “a subjective unpleasant or even uncomfortable state as a result of the contradiction between one’s social expectation and her/his actual social network”. Shyness is another crucial individual trait that the research has focused on recently. Loneliness and shyness both are responsible for negative emotions and an undesirable degree of satisfaction with life (Jones et al., 1990). The combination of these negative personality traits with factors that motivate gaming is scarce in the literature because formal theories of motivation are rarely applied to video games (Beard & Wickham, 2016; Demetrovics et al., 2011). In general, a disorder resulting from new technologies such as social media and online gaming can negatively affect human’s life (Kuss et al., 2012; Marttila et al., 2021).

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