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Why do people play games? A meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-141
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Abstract

During the last decade games have arguably become the largest form of leisure information systems (IS). However, today games are also increasingly being employed for a variety of instrumental purposes. Although games have garnered a substantial amount of research attention during the last decade, research literature is scattered and there is still a lack of a clear and reliable understanding of why games are being used, and how they are placed in the established utilitarian-hedonic continuum of information systems. To address this gap, we conducted a meta-analysis of the quantitative body of literature that has examined the reasons for using games (48 studies). Additionally, we compared the findings across games that are intended for either leisure or instrumental use. Even though games are generally regarded as a pinnacle form of hedonically-oriented ISs, our results show that enjoyment and usefulness are equally important determinants for using them (though their definitive role varies between game types). Therefore, it can be posited that games are multi-purpose ISs which nevertheless rely on hedonic factors, even in the pursuit of instrumental outcomes. The present study contributes to and advances our theoretical and empirical understanding of multi-purpose ISs and the ways in which they are used.

Keywords

  • Games, Gamification, Meta-analysis, Meta-sem, Multi-purposed information systems, Technology acceptance

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland