Gender and Genre Differences in Multiplayer Gaming Motivations

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 12211)


This study examines gaming motivations for two different genres of multiplayer games—casual social network games (SNGs) and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games—and tests for gender differences in motivation after considering genre. We conducted a survey of 515 SNG players and 505 MMO players in the U.S. through Mechanical Turk, asking about their motivations for play and basic gaming behavior such as frequency and length of play. Using a self-determination theory approach to categorize motivations, we looked at how game genre and gender are associated with six types of motivation. We find that hypotheses of gender differences from previous games research are contradicted or unsupported—for example, female players for both SNGs and MMOs reported higher levels of external game regulation than males, contradicting previous studies of men being more achievement oriented than women. There are also major genre differences in relation to different motivations. Results reflect a cultural shift in gaming away from gender stereotypes, supporting the importance of reconsidering previous scholarship in this area. Future research should account for both the affordances and culture associated with different game genres rather than generalizing gender effects to all games.


Multiplayer games Gender Genre Motivation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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