Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Ann Marie Yali

Keywords

video games, female gamers, boredom, stress, intrinsic motivation, COVID-19

Abstract

The prevalence of U.S. female gamers has skyrocketed in recent years, largely due to the popularity of mobile games; however, this population is underrepresented in academic research. The present study aimed to close this gap in the literature by focusing on the motivations and behaviors of adult female mobile gamers in the U.S. It also aimed to capture changes in gaming motivation and behavior resulting from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. An online sample of 354 American women 18 to 77 years of age (M = 36.79, SD = 12.38) were surveyed about their motivations for mobile gaming, their mobile game preferences, how much they typically play overall (frequency) and the duration of a typical gaming session. Results of hierarchical regression analyses showed that alleviation of boredom and enjoyment were significantly related to gaming frequency. Autonomy, relatedness and enjoyment were significantly related to gaming duration. Of the women who reported pandemic-related changes in their gaming behavior, 86.6% reported an increase in mobile gaming. Additionally, women who reported pandemic related changes in gaming behavior rated alleviation of boredom and stress significantly higher than those who reported no change. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.

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