Why We Play Video Games – Research 2

For many of us, gaming has become an addictive way of life, but what exactly keeps us addicted to the digital screen? In Game Theory’s “Why you play video games”, the hosts analyze Scott Rigby and Richard Ryan’s “Glued to Gaming” and their theory on why we play video games.

Game Theory and the Rigby/Ryan theory states that the three reasons we play video games are competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Each of the three reasons, are related to our humanistic natures and desires. Competence relates to our human nature of mastery. The games that fall into this category are platformers, rhythm games and puzzles. The autonomy category relates to our desire to have an impact on the world or an effect where we matter to the world. The Fable series, Fallout series, and Mass Effect series are great examples of the immersive gameplay that autonomy hunters are drawn to. The relatedness category leans into our desire to be an integral part of a team. These games, of course, are best represented by multiplayer games/gamers, such as League of Legends or any other multiplayer games.

The section that most interests me is the autonomy category of games. These games have such an immersive storyline that multiple playthroughs can yield different results. Is it possible for narrative games like Bioshock, Fallout, Fable, and Dear Esther to replace our traditional storytelling techniques?


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