Understanding Videogame Motivations and Impacts during Difficult and Stressful Times

During COVID-19 we saw significant increases in the amount of time people spent playing videogames as many used it as a way to reduce stressors and manage the difficult situation. This increased engagement, however, has fueled concerns regarding problematic play, with some arguing that game play as a means to manage negative affect during these difficult times may inadvertently turn maladaptive. This project aims to investigate how and why people engage with videogames during difficult and stressful times to better understand the influence such game play has on people’s wellbeing. Specifically, we are interested in understanding how need satisfaction of important psychological needs (both in life and through games) influences someone’s passion for videogame play, and how this, in turn, influences their wellbeing. Emotion regulation will also be explored to better understand how people’s ability to regulate their emotions plays a role in need satisfaction and videogame passion.

Chief Investigators