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Discovering the Motivational Constitution of ‘Playing Games for Fun’

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS,volume 13477)


Regardless of its all-encompassing and ubiquitous nature, game and play researchers have often steered away from applying fun as a research concept. If a concept seems to be associated with everything, it logically follows that the concept lacks explanatory power. In this paper, we do not merely settle for the blunt conclusion that fun is not an interesting research concept. Rather we start to explore the phenomenon of fun by approaching it through three lenses: motivation to play, gameplay experience, and psychological need satisfaction. By analyzing two large survey samples collected in Finland (N = 879) and South-Korea (N = 1519), we cluster survey participants into player types according to their gameplay motivations. It is revealed that all players are more motivated by fun than by other need-based gaming motives, but also that a significant minority of players are only motivated by fun. By studying player preferences of the player types, it is furthermore highlighted that these Fun-Seekers generally dislike most gameplay activities and differ from other player types also regarding their genre play habits. Practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.


  • Fun
  • Gameplay
  • Motivation
  • Self-determination

This work has been funded by Business Finland (projects 9214/31/2019 and 864/31/2016), Academy of Finland (Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, project n:o 312397), and supported by Kinrate Analytics Ltd, a private company specialized in player market analytics.

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Correspondence to Kai Tuuri .

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Tuuri, K., Vahlo, J. (2022). Discovering the Motivational Constitution of ‘Playing Games for Fun’. In: Göbl, B., van der Spek, E., Baalsrud Hauge, J., McCall, R. (eds) Entertainment Computing – ICEC 2022. ICEC 2022. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13477. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-20211-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-20212-4

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