The Computer Games Journal

, Volume 6, Issue 1–2, pp 63–79 | Cite as

Fun Versus Meaningful Video Game Experiences: A Qualitative Analysis of User Responses

  • Ryan Rogers
  • Julia Woolley
  • Brett Sherrick
  • Nicholas David Bowman
  • Mary Beth Oliver


Emerging research on video games has suggested that feelings of both enjoyment and meaningfulness can be elicited from gameplay. Studies have shown enjoyment and meaningfulness evaluations to be associated with discrete elements of video games (ratings of gameplay and narrative, respectively), but have relied on closed-end data analysis. The current study analyzed participants’ open-ended reviews of either their “most fun” or “most meaningful” video game experience (N = 575, randomly assigned to either condition). Results demonstrated that “fun” games were explained in terms of gameplay mechanics, and “meaningful” games were explained in terms of connections with players and in-game characters.


Video games Meaningfulness Enjoyment Eudaimonia Needs gratification 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan Rogers
    • 1
  • Julia Woolley
    • 2
  • Brett Sherrick
    • 3
  • Nicholas David Bowman
    • 4
  • Mary Beth Oliver
    • 5
  1. 1.Marist CollegePoughkeepsieUSA
  2. 2.California Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA
  3. 3.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  4. 4.West Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  5. 5.Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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