Chapter 3
Why Do We Game?: Gamer Motivations and Psychology

Gaming was described as a strategic blind spot in earlier chapters. This spot comes from a multitude of sources, but the biggest and most durable of them are misconceptions around who or what constitutes the gaming audience.

The problem is that many of the existing conceptions around the gaming audience are reductive because they've largely been structured around demographic explanations. This is in part because historically marketers have loved to rely on basic demographic descriptions to account for a great many things. When you strip away the complexities, this is pretty much how ~$70 billion worth of legacy TV advertising was sold for many years. Despite all the “advancements” in understanding consumers in a digital advertising landscape, and all the consumer data captured therein, this trend continues today.

The tale of those demographics is one of the few things that the larger business world can apparently agree on. It's not hard to find a number of oddly similar descriptions of the gaming audience in business‐related literature on the topic, even if (somewhat ironically) the reference is a counterpoint for what the gaming audience no longer is: young men in a dark basement, hands stained with Cheetos dust, shirt soaked in pizza grease, pimple‐marked adolescent features highlighted from the dim glow of a TV, fully under their command from in‐hand controller. Various descriptions of the gaming audience continue to come to this same relative profile not simply because the authors of these statements are lazy, but because the “gamer stereotype” has been impressed in our minds for years.

In reality, your average gaming fan is more likely to be worried about their mortgage than Cheetos dust, and are certainly not uniformly male. The average age of game players across any device is estimated to be 34, and 45 percent female.1 However, just focusing on the broader demographics of gaming belies three deeper, independent, but related challenges that will be the focus of this chapter and the scaffolding we will use to understand participants in the gaming ecosystem.

First, the media has often incorrectly established the concept of a “gamer” and “gamer identity” through the lens of moral panics, a well‐documented cycle wherein older generations view any new form of media as corrupting to younger ones. The result is a culture of “outcasts” crafted in a unique period of the 1980s/1990s when gaming was a more closed system to new players, who then felt a great deal of ownership over what was ostensibly one of the most affective forms of media known to man. This in turned reinforced rather intensive amounts of tribalism and “othering” for those who don't conform to the concept of what a gamer is or what proper gaming entails. To address this problem, we'll unravel the nature of moral panics, fandoms, media identities, and participatory cultures.

The propensity to “other” those who most align with the concept of gamer leads to our second challenge. The proliferation of mobile and various other mechanisms that have made games more accessible to larger audiences (often lumped under the “casual gamer” label) led to an identity crisis of sorts among those “gamers.” This is the genesis of many of the more problematic behaviors that have been documented within gaming communities (which we will address directly in the next chapter), but also provides the requisite background for thinking critically about how access to gaming and the curtailing of various barriers of entry into the ecosystem has multiplied motivations and tensions within the gaming ecosystem well beyond just “gamers.”

The final challenge, having established the requisite cultural and social background, is to outline the fairly well‐known psychological impulses that lead to engagement with gaming. We will focus on outlining those that both provide clarity to the “why?” of gaming while being instructive towards the “how?” of integrating with gaming in a positive way (including understanding the not‐so‐positive parts in Chapter 4).

If it sounds as though we are getting just a bit academic to talk about people who play and watch video games … well, it's because we have to do so. Believe it or not, the academics really got the jump on the business community in terms of both interest and attention towards gaming, largely in the disciplines of communications, psychology, sociology, medicine, and law.2 While I'm willing to attribute this to the fact that the type of person who obtains a PhD is very likely to be the same type of person who might be a “gamer” (I'm allowed to cast that stone—I'm in this camp), it's also due to the rather profound ways that gaming has the potential to act upon a number of social and cultural forces. We'll try to skip to the good parts, but we are going to have to check in with the professors a bit.

The pseudo‐academic flair we'll introduce here is thus both a recognition of the fact that the business world doesn't have to start out at square one in terms of understanding, but also that the industry is in dire need of moving beyond the superficial. Because gaming occupies an extremely important role in the lives and identities of some, and is on the verge of influencing practically all via potential manifestations of the metaverse, we need to understand it from a cultural perspective. Because gaming has drawn in millions in recent years via a number of different formats and deployments, we need to understand it from a psychological and social basis. Finally, because gaming behaviors will continue to occupy a number of current (e.g., gamification) or forthcoming (e.g., metaverse) mechanisms for communications, a deeper understanding is warranted beyond business communications.

Is a Gamer by Any Other Name Not a Gamer?

You'll be quick to point out that early on in this book I chastised users of the term “gamer,” and yet here we are looking at it in black and white. I assure you the point is not to be hypocritical, but to acknowledge that “gamer” is not a completely dead concept, just one that is relevant to only a very small portion of the gaming ecosystem yet is vital for understanding broader motivations therein.

Why did “gamer” even become a label for media consumption, particularly one that seemingly had a much broader reach than labels such as “cinephile” or “audiophile” that might be used to label intense consumers of other forms of media? In the early days of gaming, roughly in the transition from arcades in the 1980s to home consoles in the 1990s, it was a non‐mainstream hobby enjoyed by, and marketed to, a fairly narrow band of consumers. As noted in the preceding chapter, what was formerly a medium for all in the form of arcades became quite cloistered and relegated to the plaything of (predominately) children in this era, only to have the audience dramatically expanded once more in recent years due to a combination of cultural, technological, and generational factors. During this (now seen as an anomalous) period, the term “gamer” became a mechanism through which these enthusiasts were “othered” from popular culture at the time. Beneath the radar of popular culture, this group of outcasts became a fandom where the consumption of games became a core part of the personal identity of these participants.

This resulted in a particularly potent form of fandom. The word fandom derives from fanatic, so in a sense the word already carries a negative connotation. The concept of “fan” has been applied to any number of forms of entertainment, including (perhaps obviously) sports. However, fandoms have been described as a “scandalous” category in the assessment of media in popular culture,3 as it describes those that revel and immerse themselves completely in a form of media rather than establishing objective, aesthetic distance from it. One does not gain mastery or control over the art by maintaining distance, so much as co‐opted ownership that comes in the form of “participatory culture,” as described by famed media scholar Henry Jenkins.4

What makes participatory culture unique is that is makes the line between “producer” and “consumers” of content quite messy—consumers in participatory culture are active and creatively engaged with the medium. This may sound rather underwhelming as one could easily apply this heuristic to social media or any other user‐generated content (UGC), but aside from the fact that Jenkins's theory actually predates the consumer internet by about a decade, it's more about co‐opting and appropriating forms of media as a vehicle to open up space for marginalized subcultures within dominant ones (more simply—the geeks vs. everyone else).5 It is the genesis of fan fictions, fan forums, cosplay, walkthroughs, and other mechanisms through which consumers have engaged in a deeper way with a story or form of media. Specific to gaming, the importance of “modding” can be described as a unique from of participatory media where the consumers are at times literally using the tools of the producers to create new forms of art specific to their tastes and needs—fans use game development tools to alter the games themselves. Gaming has been used as perhaps the best or most relevant example within the concept of participatory culture and the blending of lines between producers and consumers.6

Participatory culture is thus a useful frame for thinking through fandoms where a high degree of ownership is expressed by the participants and space for “outcasts” is desirable. In some respects, it's the media or cultural studies mirror to the concept of “affective economies” or “affective media,” which are more well known in traditional marketing and marketing science.7 “Affective economies” speaks to customers that are active, emotionally engaged, and socially networked—in some ways creating community within the concept of a brand. While these economies can exist in any form of media that carries an emotional punch (here again, sports and sports fandoms provide a useful example in popular culture), gaming has been argued to be one of the more extreme forms, given the combination of social aspects and portions of the media that are under direct control of the consumer—above and beyond modding, players can make choices in games and potentially feel bad about or good about those choices as they occasionally impact fictional characters.8

This is partially why gaming tends to be an extremely potent media format for nostalgia. Nostalgia is strongest when and where meaningful social interactions take place, and games offer both real and fictional degrees of socialization (aided by immense amounts of time and personal investment in shaping the experience, which is often the case with games).9 This explores the boundaries of social connections when we feel attachment to fictional characters. In a game series like Mass Effect, where one of the core game mechanics is making moralistic choices about how to approach a given problem (either a more ruthless “Renegade” response or law‐abiding “Paragon”), which often reflects on squad mates whose personalities you come to know and explore over the three tiles and dozens of hours of game play that comprise the main narrative of the series. An analysis by publisher Bioware on a recently released remaster of the series noted that 92 percent of players tended towards the moralistic “Paragon” decisions.10 While there are potentially a number of reasons for this profound bias, it does demonstrate that game players don't just default to horrible behaviors in games, despite the occasional media framing of gaming (here too, a point we'll return to momentarily), and that being the “nice guy” might be a reflection of care towards these fictional entities. It is often the case that game players speak about experiences in games from a first‐person perspective, highlighting their sense of self (and therefore, values and social connections) within the game world as personal and salient.11

In short, the term “gamers” represents a category for individuals with deep emotional bonds, and often participatory tendencies, to video games, resulting in high degrees of ownership over the media. Possessions and consumer behaviors inform our personal identities through what psychologist call self‐categorization theory, which is abundant in consumer affinities that require high degrees of money, time, or effort—here too, something quite unique and particularly attributable to gaming.12 The resonance of this particular label became sticky during a period in the history of gaming where it was framed as a counter‐culture form of media. From there, “gamers” as a label was a way of marginalizing what was construed as frivolous wastes of time (largely by the parents) of 1990s youths, to then be co‐opted by that subculture as a way to boundary those that were in or out.

This has in turn led to two challenges for how gaming is discussed in more modern times. First, the narrative around gaming that has been shaped in popular media and overarchingly in the form of various moral panics. Second, the extent to which tribalism around the “gamer” identity has set the stage for a vocal minority of “gamers” to paint perceptions of those that game more generally.

Gaming got a bad reputation for the rather simple reason that it was new, and virtually every new form of media is met with both speculation and fear. While this has been true looking as far back as the printed word, more recently concerned parents have fretted over movies, comic books, or rock music as potentially negative influences over the past 100 years or so. In modern times, social media, gaming, and “screen time” more generally have been the object of moral panics13—as youth set out to carve out places for their own culture and experiences; it's met with concerns by parents with too‐basic understanding of the existing science on a given social phenomenon, and an unerring feeling of righteousness among an older generation seeking to understand the contours of a younger one.

The predictable cycle of moral panics across generations of communications and media technologies is based in the allure of simplicity—they reduce complex social problems into an easily digestible and addressable scapegoat. The history of gaming is riddled with them, and much can be said about how the very durable stereotypes around the gaming population are due to how the media has narrowly framed the impact of gaming on younger populations (not just to young people, but boys, and in particular boys with a penchant for violence). As those who played games during that anomalous period grew up, and as the population of those who play games expanded via more accessible technology and design, the framing of who plays games has never been more disjointed yet seemingly set in stone—as previously noted, video games are a pastime that largely bends towards adults. We have these moral panics to thank for this incongruity.

When I state (as have others)14 that the label “gamer” is not useful to describe gaming populations, it's both true and due to this phenomenon. However, this is not to say that those who identify as “gamers” don't exist—it's merely a small part of the overall population of those who play games. Estimates vary but typically hover around 15–20 percent of the population who play video games across any type or device identify as a gamer.15 The combination of moral panics and the occasionally exclusionary behaviors of those “gamers” have yielded an outsized focus on a small group, thereby skewing overall perceptions.

The exclusionary behaviors of gamers is not something unique to gaming. During the months prior to September 1993, millions of homes across the United States had received a CD‐ROM offering software and free trial access to America Online. It was one of the largest and most aggressive pushes of the consumer internet, which had previously been the exclusive domain of large institutions such as universities (if this sounds a bit similar to the beginnings of gaming … it's because it is). As communication channels such as Usenets (a distributed discussion system available on computers at the time) became flooded with new members who were unaware or uninterested in the “netiquette” that had been common among longer‐tenured users, this period was dubbed “The Eternal September” or “The September That Never Ended” by those veteran users.16

As with moral panics, the patterns of reception and alienation among veteran users in fandoms are not unique to gaming, and in many cases can be traced back for decades.17 The irony is that many of these fandoms, including those that are cast as “geeky” in popular culture, are often the refuge of cultural outcasts,18 but it's because these fandoms become safe spaces that new membership feels threatening. Gaming is an acute example given the rapid expansion of gaming populations, particularly via game types and players who were very different from typical “gamers” (i.e., predominately white, middle‐class males, playing challenging and/or complex games). This feeling of a threat to a fandom, which many have not just claimed ownership of but have staked their identity within membership, is the root of many toxic behaviors attributed to gaming communities (here too, this is something we'll unpack in the next chapter).

But do we hear from those grumpy Usenet users anymore? Nope, and very likely the less desirable attitudes within the gaming ecosystem will dissipate as a function of time. However, as noted, understanding the larger cultural and social factors around the fandom of “gamers” is an important stepping‐stone towards contextualizing gaming behaviors and psychology (good or bad) more broadly. Investment, ownership, and the highly affective nature of the medium means that the psychology of these spaces is somewhat unique, and should be handled with care when introducing new elements (be it ads, technology, messages, or otherwise).

Loops for Loot: Understanding Gaming Motivations

As previously noted, our intention is to focus only on a subset of important psychological phenomena most relevant to the intended audience of this book, although excellent and thorough references from a number of gaming‐specialized psychologists exist for further reading (in addition to being referenced throughout this work). We'll do so by outlining the more popular taxonomies around what motivates gaming, followed by some of the more pertinent psychological phenomena attributed to gaming.

The most often cited reference on game play style and attitudes comes from Bartle's19 taxonomy, which described four types of players in online Multi‐User Dungeon games (the progenitor of online role‐playing games):

  1. Achievers: Those who give themselves a goal in the game and set out to accomplish it (be it solve a puzzle, acquire items, complete a level, etc.).
  2. Explorers: Those who seek to learn the most they can above a given game or virtual world, including the rules that govern it (e.g., in game physics).
  3. Socializers: Those who use games as a social medium, via role play or otherwise, to interact with other players.
  4. Killers: This unfortunately named group are those who wish to “impose” themselves on others—they attack other players or otherwise seek to cause distress.

Bartle's taxonomy is widely used because it's not only simple, but neatly categorizes a number of common values and need states within gaming. More recently, Yee20 built upon Bartle's taxonomy via a large survey of over 3,000 players across a number of online games, which yielded additional precision around the motivations of achievement, socializing, and importantly the concept of immersion:

  • Achievement: Players seek advancement (gain power, progress, accumulate symbols of wealth or status), competition, and to understand mechanics (analyzing the rules of the game to optimize performance).
  • Social: Players wish to socialize (helping or chatting with other players), form longer‐term relationships, or seek feelings of satisfaction from teamwork via being part of group efforts.
  • Immersion: Players are driven by discovery (finding and knowing things other players might not), role playing (creating a persona through which they interact with others), customization (the ability to customize a persona to suit personal tastes), and escapism (using the game environment to avoid thinking about real‐life problems).

It is probably by no coincidence that the motivations Yee identified closely mimic more general psychological needs and motivations as described by the “self‐determination theory” framework.21 Przybylski and colleagues22 argue that gaming fulfills three basic psychological needs and motivations:

  1. Competence: We need to feel skillful and able when we do things.
  2. Autonomy: We need to feel that we have meaningful choices when deciding how to do something.
  3. Relatedness: We need to feel connected to others while we do so.

Some important takeaways immediately become apparent between these classifications, with an emphasis on the traits and motivations that seem particularly durable across all three: People playing games are interacting within and through the game. Within the game, it's often related to the joys of mastering game mechanics, becoming immersed in a story and overcoming challenges. Through the game it's a conduit for socializing with others as well as performing identity—game “play” can thus be thought of as both the play interacting within the game world and that which is performative socialization (often with other players, but to a degree also applicable to fictional characters within a game). The drivers above are not exhaustive nor mutually exclusive—what motivates individuals to play games can be highly differentiated from person to person or game to game. This is what, as discussed in the section above, makes games a highly affective medium given differential and deep forms of participation.

Like any type of affective media, this comes with risks—specifically, that bad messaging or tactics can disrupt an otherwise deep and emotional experience, likely resulting in some degree of backlash from the game player. The concept of immersion, known more formally as “spatial presence” by psychologists, is perhaps the most important axis to consider in terms of potential risks within a game (or other highly affective) environments.

Immersion (we'll mostly stick with the less formal parlance, given its popularity in both popular and business‐related discourse of gaming) is a psychological state brought on when the boundaries of a media you are experiencing dissolve from reality.23 Though the concept of “spatial presence” has been studied for decades across a number of different media, one of the principal allures of gaming is the extent to which it can foster immersion via enthralling stories, captivating mechanics, and beautiful graphical displays. Immersion is potentially one of the reasons you're reading this book—because the environments are immersive, game players are highly involved within the game environments both psychologically and physically (e.g., through game controls).

Immersion is disrupted by things that don't fit within the context of the immersed experience. In practice, this is where marketing messaging is most at risk—if it's incongruent to the game environment, it disrupts immersion, and therefore damages the game experience. That said, if the ad or marketing message fits with the environment, it can help with immersion—this is why external messaging placements such as virtual billboards have gained much traction in the world of game advertising, as it's not only acceptable but potentially additive to the game experience.24 Immersion is further fostered by the concept of “interactivity”—we expect things in a game environment to act as we would expect. “Involvement” with media comes from intensive mental processing of an experience, requiring keen focus and attention.25 Involvement relies upon the cognitive processes of understanding the game systems, observing problems, and formulating solutions. It's why games are deeply immersive, and gaming more generally is renowned for captivating attention among players.

The shadowy side of immersion, depending on your POV, comes in the form of escapism. Even in the taxonomies above, immersion in a game to avoid the pressures of reality is a potential motivation, but one that is followed closely by concerns around addiction (given a fairly similar need state fulfilled by sometimes abused substances such as drugs or alcohol). That said, escapism can also be understood less as a pathway of avoidance than as something more akin to a philosophical thought experiment—a game can provide virtual worlds to think about and address problems through a variety of vantage points that might not otherwise be possible, against multiple realities and existences.26 Games have occasionally been purpose‐built to this end: Life Is Strange is a game where the player essentially explores depression. The act of game play can be immersive to the point of escapist, but the nature of escapism (like many of the negative or positive assessments of gaming on individuals) is nuanced.

Moreover, when games have social elements, it's less about escaping the real world per se so much as contextualizing the real world in new ways. Nick Yee describes the Proteus Paradox as how we often carry meaning, biases, and values from the real world into virtual environments.27 The “self‐perception theory” is a well‐known social psychological phenomenon where we tend to contextualize how a third party might view us based upon our appearance and behaviors.28 Yee and colleagues found that in‐game avatars affected player behaviors in and out of game when personal and third party avatars were made more or less attractive, taller or shorter, and so on.29 Socialization in gaming is, as noted, one of the key need states among those that play games, and takes place in a variety of forms, ranging from direct conversations to teams of players (sometimes formalized within “guilds” or “clans” that confront challenges together). The Proteus Effect explains how we take cues and biases from the real world to influence these socialized behaviors, but the game environment itself can have the same effect.

The process of “deindividuation” is one where we reduce uncertainty in a given social situation by taking cues from the environment, which is particularly potent in situations where our true identity is more anonymous.30 A positive environment yields more positive behaviors, and negative environments more negative. This process has been used at times by game developers to reduce toxic behaviors in some games—either through “priming” (i.e., pointing someone in a particular cognitive direction) players with positive messages or experimenting in ways to curtail messaging from individuals who were identified as caustic.31 We'll return to deindividuation and anonymity as they pertain to more negative behaviors; for now we'll merely note that while social interactions are a key motivating function in games, the ways in which they can occur are manifold and subject to influences both within and outside the game environment.

A final aspect of socialization we'll touch on is competition—games are often designed specifically around competing players or teams, often with elaborate systems for comparisons of relative mastery of a given game (e.g., competitive ladders). These are often designed such that players of the same relative skill level can compare mastery with a similar group, thereby allowing for semiobjective assessments of mastery within the right context (e.g., not pitting a middling player against a professional). Mastery of a game is a powerful motivator insofar as it solves for our need to feel competency, particularly when it is tied to the presence of rewards. Games often include “operant conditioning” where performing an action provides a given reward (e.g., click on a treasure chest and you get some gems) and “compulsion loops” where players are compelled to perform the action that leads to the reward given a cue in the game (e.g., presenting a treasure chest, and obtaining the riches therein). These are effective mechanisms for engagement, but it's not a stretch to see how they can lend themselves to abusive behaviors. It's on that note that we'll begin our transition more directly to a discussion of those potentially negative behaviors.

Closing the Loop: Conclusions

Games can elicit a particularly unique form of fandom. The deeply affective nature of the media both draws individuals into the experience, and creates fault lines for divisions. Understanding what motivates participation in this medium allows for more thoughtful consideration of how to influence these environments. This is particularly true here, where influence within the environment is sensitive—there are innumerable risks to breaking immersion in games. Moreover, social and identity dynamics in games can influence the receptivity of the audience, based upon their attachment to the game environment and context through which the players interrelate. Finally, games often rely on well‐known psychological triggers to drive engagement and reward mastery. This is in part what makes games so compelling, and therefore can be leveraged to bolster positive integrations in game environments, but this is also where unscrupulous behaviors can potentially ferment.

We've been, on balance, only focusing on the more positive mental processes attached to gaming, only vaguely pointing towards where some of these tendencies lead to darker impulses. We'll address these in the next chapter head on, thereby addressing many of the more common discourses around the psychology of gaming—propensity for violence, addiction, and toxic behaviors. As with understanding the motivations for gaming, the negative behaviors germane to gaming provide a productive path for engaging with these media in a positive way.

Notes

  1. 1. GWI, “The Gaming Playbook: Everything You Need to Know about the Gaming Audience,” https://www.gwi.com/reports/the-gaming-playbook.
  2. 2. Daniel Muriel and Garry Crawford, Video Games as Culture: Considering the Role and Importance of Video Games in Contemporary Society (New York: Routledge, 2018), 42.
  3. 3. Henry Jenkins, Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture (New York: New York University Press, 2006), 39.
  4. 4. Ibid.
  5. 5. Ibid., 40.
  6. 6. James Newman, Playing with Videogames (London: Routledge, 2008).
  7. 7. Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (New York: New York University Press, 2008), 60.
  8. 8. Jenkins, Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers, 217.
  9. 9. Jamie Madigan, Getting Gamers: The Psychology of Video Games and Their Impact on the People Who Play Them (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), 67.
  10. 10. Paul Tassi, “You'll Be Surprised What Percent of ‘Mass Effect’ Players Chose Paragon,” Forbes, February 22, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2020/02/22/youll-be-surprised-what-percent-of-mass-effect-players-chose-paragon/?sh=4f0e15d46cf5.
  11. 11. Muriel and Crawford, Video Games as Culture, 90.
  12. 12. Madigan, Getting Gamers, 44.
  13. 13. Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda, Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 1994).
  14. 14. Julian Gamboa, “‘Gamer’ Label Is Outdated, Says Electronic Arts' VP of Brand,” Adweek, July 21, 2021, https://www.adweek.com/inside-the-brand/gamer-label-is-outdated-says-electronic-arts-vp-of-brand/.
  15. 15. “Gallery of the Gamer,” Activision Blizzard Media, https://www.galleryofthegamer.com.
  16. 16. Wendy Grossman, net wars (New York: NYU Press, 1998).
  17. 17. Jenkins, Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers, 142.
  18. 18. T. L. Taylor, Watch Me Play: Twitch and the Rise of Game Live Streaming (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018), 232.
  19. 19. Richard Bartle, “Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players Who Suit MUDs,” mud.co.uk, April 1996, http://mud.co.uk/richard/hcds.htm.
  20. 20. Nick Yee, “Motivations for Play in Online Games,” CyberPsychology & Behavior 9, no. 6 (2006): 772–775.
  21. 21. Richard M. Ryan and Edward L. Deci, “Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being,” American Psychologist 55, no. 1 (2000).
  22. 22. Andrew K. Przybylski, C. Scott Rigby, and Richard M. Ryan, “A Motivational Model of Video Game Engagement,” Review of General Psychology 14, no. 2 (2010): 154–166.
  23. 23. Madigan, Getting Gamers, 120.
  24. 24. Ibid., 130–131.
  25. 25. Werner Wirth, Matthias Hofer, and Holger Schramm, “The Role of Emotional Involvement and Trait Absorption in the Formation of Spatial Presence,” Media Psychology 15, no. 1 (March 2012): 19–43.
  26. 26. Muriel and Crawford, Video Games as Culture, 123.
  27. 27. Nick Yee, The Proteus Paradox: How Online Games and Virtual Worlds Change Us: And How They Don't (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014).
  28. 28. Daryl J. Bem, “Self-Perception: An Alternative Interpretation of Cognitive Dissonance Phenomena,” Psychological Review 74, no. 3 (May 1967): 183–200, doi: 10.1037/h0024835.
  29. 29. Nick Yee, Jeremy Bailenson, and Nicolas Ducheneaut, “The Proteus Effect: Implications of Transformed Digital Self-Representation on Online and Offline Behavior,” Communication Research 36, no. 2 (2009).
  30. 30. Madigan, Getting Gamers, 6.
  31. 31. Yubo Kou and Bonnie Nardi, “Regulating Anti-Social Behavior on the Internet: The Example of League of Legends,” University of California, Irvine, February 2013, doi: 10.9776/13289.
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