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Motivation and Cognitive-Behavioral Factors in Problematic Online Gaming

Abstract

A portion of the US population is choosing online games as a form of recreation and, consequently, is developing unhealthy preoccupations. The most notable form of Internet addiction for the past 20 years has been Massive Multi-user Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) with adults between 20 and 40 years old identified as high risk of developing problematic online gaming behaviors. Problematic online gaming behaviors and the resultant functional impairment of daily living that adults experience from playing MMORPGs was the problem addressed in this study, while the purpose was to provide further insight into those behaviors that adults experience from playing MMORPGs. This study used descriptive, pre-transcendental, psychological phenomenological methods and associated five-step phenomenological psychological data analysis and was predicated on the integration of the Online Gameplay Motivations Theory and the Cognitive-Behavioral Model of Pathological Internet Use. Seven adult participants who have played numerous MMORPGs over a period of no less than 5 years and as recently as 2 months were recruited. Interviews provided raw data, the analysis produced 26 themes and subthemes, which answered four research questions. The results indicated that adult MMORPG players who experience problematic online gaming behaviors experience both benefits (e.g., access to virtual-relationships, increased attention and focus, increased technology competency) and detriments (e.g., maladaptive cognitions, behavioral symptoms) from this online gameplay.

Keywords

  • Motivation
  • Problematic online gaming
  • MMO
  • MMORPG
  • Phenomenology
  • Gamers
  • Online gameplay

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Lockhart, E.N.S. (2022). Motivation and Cognitive-Behavioral Factors in Problematic Online Gaming. In: Hunt, T., Tan, L.M. (eds) Applied Psychology Readings. SCAP 2021. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-5086-5_4

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