Behavioral and psychological involvement of online video gamers: Building blocks or building walls to socialization?

Benjamin Hickerson, Andrew J. Mowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Video gaming has often been associated with negative outcomes such as aggression and social isolation, particularly for those who spend significant amounts of time playing. However, advances in video game technology have enabled online, multi-player experiences which may facilitate social relationships. Recent literature suggests that meanings ascribed to video gaming may be more important in determining social outcomes than gaming behaviors alone. This study examined the relationship of both behavioral and psychological involvement in video gaming to perceived friend-based social support among a sample of multi-player, first-person shooter gamers. Results indicated that behavioral involvement (e.g., time spent playing, dollars spent) was unrelated to perceived social support. Enduring (i.e., psychological) involvement with video games had varied relationships with the measure of social support. Gamers who perceived video gaming to be a forum for social bonding were more likely to perceive higher levels of social support, while gamers who appeared to centralize their lifestyle around gaming were less likely to report positive social support levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-103
Number of pages25
JournalLoisir et Societe
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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