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Video Game Uses and Gratifications as Predictors of Use and Game Preference
Unformatted Document Text:  Video game U&G 4 environment (e.g., billboards, televisions in homes, etc.), and a number of other questions. Prominent among media theories is uses and gratifications. Since its inception, the uses and gratifications paradigm has continued to provide a cutting edge approach among media researchers to gain insight on the impact of new communication technologies (Ruggerio, 2000). In this article, we take a uses and gratifications approach to explore the reasons that individuals use video games and how those reasons are translated into genre preferences and amount of time devoted to game play. The Uses and Gratifications Paradigm Uses and gratifications is one of the oldest continuous research programs in mass communications, having conceptual roots in the Payne Fund movie studies in the 1920s (Lowery & DeFleur, 1996) and a series of studies conducted at Lazarsfeld’s Bureau of Applied Social Research in the 1940s (Sills, 1996). In 1974, the Katz, Blumler, and Gurevitch paradigm, as well as the Rosengren paradigm, became the guiding research models for uses and gratifications research. The Katz et al. (1974) formulation states that uses and gratifications researchers are interested in, “... (1) the social and psychological origins of (2) needs, which generate (3) expectations of (4) the mass media or other sources, which lead to (5) differential patterns of media exposure (or engagement in other activities), resulting in (6) need gratifications and (7) other consequences, perhaps mostly unintended ones” (p.20). Rosengren (1974) presented a more complete model of the uses and gratifications paradigm (see Figure 1). Essentially, basic needs (1), individual differences (2), and contextual societal factors (3) combine to result in a variety of perceived problems and motivations (4-6) to which gratifications are sought from the media (7) and elsewhere (8) leading to differential patterns of media effects (9) on both the individual (10)

Authors: Sherry, John. and Lucas, Kristen.
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Video game U&G 4
environment (e.g., billboards, televisions in homes, etc.), and a number of other questions.
Prominent among media theories is uses and gratifications. Since its inception, the uses and
gratifications paradigm has continued to provide a cutting edge approach among media
researchers to gain insight on the impact of new communication technologies (Ruggerio, 2000).
In this article, we take a uses and gratifications approach to explore the reasons that individuals
use video games and how those reasons are translated into genre preferences and amount of time
devoted to game play.
The Uses and Gratifications Paradigm
Uses and gratifications is one of the oldest continuous research programs in mass
communications, having conceptual roots in the Payne Fund movie studies in the 1920s (Lowery
& DeFleur, 1996) and a series of studies conducted at Lazarsfeld’s Bureau of Applied Social
Research in the 1940s (Sills, 1996). In 1974, the Katz, Blumler, and Gurevitch paradigm, as well
as the Rosengren paradigm, became the guiding research models for uses and gratifications
research. The Katz et al. (1974) formulation states that uses and gratifications researchers are
interested in, “... (1) the social and psychological origins of (2) needs, which generate (3)
expectations of (4) the mass media or other sources, which lead to (5) differential patterns of
media exposure (or engagement in other activities), resulting in (6) need gratifications and (7)
other consequences, perhaps mostly unintended ones” (p.20). Rosengren (1974) presented a more
complete model of the uses and gratifications paradigm (see Figure 1). Essentially, basic needs
(1), individual differences (2), and contextual societal factors (3) combine to result in a variety of
perceived problems and motivations (4-6) to which gratifications are sought from the media (7)
and elsewhere (8) leading to differential patterns of media effects (9) on both the individual (10)


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