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How our Gaming is influenced by our Passion & Impulsivity

How our Gaming is influenced by our Passion & Impulsivity

Welcome, everyone, to a new episode.

Today, the focus of this episode is passion and impulsivity of gamers and how they influence our gaming behavior. This includes the intensity of play, the amount of time spent playing, and our choice of which video game we play. This knowledge can help us to make the best use of our game time and identify a gaming addiction.

Passion and impulsivity influence our gaming behavior.
The amount of play time was correlated with passion and impulsivity.
Intensive players were more likely to be impulsive, passionate, and an MMORPG player.
It can help you to get more out of your quality of gaming, improve gaming behavior, and with potential gaming addiction.

As gamers, we know that passion and impulsivity have a role in how we make decisions. Our kind is very passionate about our favorite game(s) and gaming in general. Impulsivity isn’t unknown to us either when we make great or terrible decisions that lead us to victory or defeat. There’s at least one study that found support for that, revealing “that passion and impulsivity are important factors in gaming behavior” [1, 2]

Investigating how passion, impulsivity, and gaming behavior is important because it can help people to identify and treat potential problematic video gaming, as well as using your gaming time in a better way.

Passion & Impulsivity

“[Passion is defined] as a strong inclination toward an activity that is liked, is important to the individual and in which time is invested.” [1]

Passion usually has two components – harmonious and obsessive passion. When your playing is in line with other aspects of your life, you would score high in harmonious passion. On the other hand, if you constantly feel the urge to play, and your playing causes you trouble and makes you feel bad, chances are you score high in obsessive passion.

Impulsivity describes the tendency to act without thinking beforehand and its negative consequences. Impulsivity is thought to influence risky behavior. Imagine playing a game of LoL where you just lost a 1v1. Teleporting back into the lane and forcing a bad fight again could be considered being impulsive, risky, and the cause of a bad outcome (losing again). However, those impulsive decisions can also grant advantages, like punishing the enemy because you see an opening.

In order to see if and how impulsivity and passion influences gaming behavior – intensity of play, playing time, and choice of video game – 630 students were surveyed. All of them were active gamers.

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What was found?

What was found in the study was that the amount of hours people play correlates with harmonious passion and impulsivity. This means that people who are in tune with their playing related to other aspects of life, and make more impulsive decisions may play more. However, it is important to keep in mind that correlation does not mean causation.

This may not be surprising because, as a more impulsive person, you’re quicker to pull the trigger and hit “Play” again. Also, feelings of harmonious passion indicate that something is important to you. In this sense, if playing games is an important activity for you, you may as well spend some more time on it. This appears to be independent of the game genre.

Regarding the intensity of play, the self-perceived intensity of play is related to the game genre, both types of passion, and impulsivity of gamers. In other words, someone who plays more intensively is likely to be impulsive, passionate, and an MMORPG player. What the authors suggest is that impulsive and passionate gamers are being cognitively rewarded by games in some, not yet understood, way that has them play with greater intensity.

What is surprising is the effect of the game genre on the intensity of play. In the study, it is argued that this is likely caused by the way non-MMORPG games function.

“[In comparison to MMORPG games], many non-MMORPG video games are often focused on fast action that takes place primarily in the present, requiring little planning about consequences and the future of the game's storyline.” [1]

Why is this important?

Those findings are not just relevant to science, but also the gaming community. It is helpful to understand why people play, why they can’t stop, and why they play an excessive amount. Some people either are addicted to playing video games or are on the verge of it turning into an addition. For those of you who feel gaming is taking too much of a toll – especially time – please seek professional help. Monitoring and knowing what kind of a person you are could help gamers identify a potential problematic use of video games.

Additionally, a better understanding of who you are can also help improve your gaming behavior. This could also play a role in making better use of your game time. Switching from playing non-MMORPG games to MMORPG (or the other way around) may give you the best bang for your buck because it could increase or decrease the intensity of play.

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[1] Ximena Puerta-Cortes et al., 2017
[2] Vallerand et al., 2003

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