Games We Play: Wellbeing of Players of Live and Digital Games

Games We Play: Wellbeing of Players of Live and Digital Games

Tihana Brkljačić (Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Croatia), Ines Sučić (Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Croatia), Renata Glavak Tkalić (Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Croatia), Anja Wertag (Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Croatia) and Lana Lučić (Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Croatia)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8449-0.ch006

Abstract

The aim of this research was to study frequencies of playing live and digital games, and to test for gender differences, to identify the most frequently played games, and to explore association between well-being indicators and frequency of playing. We found low positive association between frequency of playing of live and digital games. Most frequently played live games were various card games, and Shooter games were most frequent among digital games. Male participants played more frequently both live and digital games. Male participants played more action and simulation computer games, while female participants preferred puzzles and card games. Internet addiction was positively correlated to the amount of time spent logged on to the internet, and higher levels of loneliness and depression. Participants who played live games more reported lower levels of depression. Participants who played digital games more, spent more time logged to the internet, reported higher levels of internet addiction, but lower levels of depression.
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Background

Van Leeuwen and Westwood (2008, pp 153) state that: “According to the PsychINFO database, in the last 10 years more than 3000 psychological research articles written in English focused on child play, yet only 40 addressed play in adults or the elderly and this was mainly in therapeutic contexts.“ So, we know very little about how, why and what games adults play, and if there is any association between overall well-being and play in adults.

Whitebread (2012) refers to five types of play in children: physical play (e.g. chasing), play with objects (e.g. construction), symbolic play (e.g. playing with words, sounds, drawing), pretence/socio-dramatic play (role playing) and games with rules (e.g. sports, card games, video games).

Although it is known that need for play is not exclusive for young age (van Leeuwen & Westwood, 2008, Sutton-Smith, 2009), and that adults also enjoy play as a type of leisure activity, only in the recent years scholars started to give more attention to adult play and its functions. One of the major concepts studied in this area is playfulness: the personality trait associated with playing behaviour and willingness to engage in play. In various studies playfulness has been found to be associated with positive outcomes. For example, Magnuson and Barnett (2013) found that playfulness is associated with positive coping. Proyer, Brauer, Wolf and Chick (2018) found it is associated with better subjective well-being, and Proyer (2012) found that people who are more playful are also more creative and intrinsically motivated.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Game: Any game that is played with assistance of computer or other electronic device, online or offline. A player can play alone (e.g. Tetris), or with other players (e.g. League of Legends).

Traditional Game: Any game that is played without computer or similar electronic device in “real life” settings.

Loneliness: A subjective, negative feeling related to the person’s own experience of deficient social relations.

Play: A voluntary activity that is conducted for its own sake, for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

Online Game: Any game that is played on the Internet, alone or with/against other players.

Live (Traditional) Game: Any game that is played without assistance of computer or other electronic device. A player can play alone (e.g. Sudoku) or with other players (e.g. Poker).

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