What Factors Determine the Usage of Online Games One Year Later?

What Factors Determine the Usage of Online Games One Year Later?

Huynh Van Nguyen (Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan), Jiajun Yu (Suzhou Institute of Industrial Technology, Suzhou, China) and Ching-I Teng (Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan & Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/IJEBR.2016070102
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Abstract

Heavy usage of online games may negatively affect the gamer's health and take a toll on school performance. However, to date, no study has utilized a longitudinal design to identify predictors of heavy usage of online games after a year of play. This study thus refers to relevant theories (e.g., flow theory and habitual theory), investigates potential correlates of game play and examines which correlates predicted the likelihood of a gamer's heavy usage after one year of play. In total, 1,852 online gamers were recruited in the first wave of this two-wave study. The results identify several predictors of heavy usage of online games, including skill and flow, and the findings enable the identification of, and the development of interventions for, individuals likely to be heavy online gamers.
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Literature Review

Flow Theory

The flow theory posits that flow—an individual experiencing intrinsic enjoyment with full concentration, unaware of time and surroundings—is very important because it creates positive feelings that can trigger loyalty (continuance intention) in various settings, including online gaming (Chang & Zhu, 2012). The underlying mechanism may be the reinforcement theory (Skinner, 1969), which posits that positive feedback (flow) triggers repeated use. The importance of flow leads this study to include it as a potential predictor of heavy gaming.

Flow occurs when highly skilled gamers encounter difficult challenges in gaming (Csikszentmihalyi & Csikszentmihalyi, 1988). Skillful gamers may perceive themselves as capable gamers and are thus encouraged to play games repeatedly. Moreover, challenges provide goals for gamers to pursue, encouraging them to play games repeatedly. Thus, the importance of skills and challenges leads us to include them in the present study.

  • H1: (a) Skill, (b) challenge, and (c) flow will be positively related to gamers’ continued heavy playing of online games after one year of gaming.

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