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Video Game Uses and Gratifications as Predictors of Use and Game Preference
Unformatted Document Text:  Video game U&G 5 and societal (11) levels. As Palmgreen, Wenner, and Rosengren (1985) pointed out in a later explication, the model is complex, multivariate and non-recursive. In the years since the publication of the Katz, et al. and Rosengren models, uses and gratifications research has expanded in a number of interesting ways, but primarily remained taxonomic, focusing on media use motivations and gratifications sought found in steps four through seven in the Rosengren model (Rubin, 1994). An array of taxonomies have emerged, sorting uses and gratifications according to entertainment genre (Abelman, 1987; Gantz, 1996); differences by media type (Greenberg & Hnilo, 1996; Selnow, 1984); and differences by country (Greenberg, Li, Ku, & Tokinoya, 1991; Tokinoya, 1996; Youichi, 1996). The lesson of these studies is that there is no universal set of reasons for using media: motivations vary across media, genre, and culture. More recently, researchers have advanced the notion that uses and gratifications may offer the best hope of an etiological explanation of both media uses and media effects (Rubin, 1994, Sherry, 2001b, Tannenbaum, 1996). For example, Sherry (2001b) has demonstrated that media use is driven, in part, by heritable neurophysiological substrates including limbic system structures, the behavioral inhibition system, and neurotransmitters including serotonin and norepinepherine. Further, Rubin (1994) has begun investigating media effects that are a function of gratifications sought. The present article builds from the foundation laid by earlier research by examining the new medium of video games from a uses and gratifications perspective. There have been a few attempts at using uses and gratifications to date; however, these studies are dated and lacked sophisticated scale development methodology. Selnow (1984) published the first video game uses and gratifications study in which he surveyed 244 10- to 24-year-olds about the needs and gratifications met by video games. Because most video game play in the early 1980s occurred at

Authors: Sherry, John. and Lucas, Kristen.
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Video game U&G 5
and societal (11) levels. As Palmgreen, Wenner, and Rosengren (1985) pointed out in a later
explication, the model is complex, multivariate and non-recursive.
In the years since the publication of the Katz, et al. and Rosengren models, uses and
gratifications research has expanded in a number of interesting ways, but primarily remained
taxonomic, focusing on media use motivations and gratifications sought found in steps four
through seven in the Rosengren model (Rubin, 1994). An array of taxonomies have emerged,
sorting uses and gratifications according to entertainment genre (Abelman, 1987; Gantz, 1996);
differences by media type (Greenberg & Hnilo, 1996; Selnow, 1984); and differences by country
(Greenberg, Li, Ku, & Tokinoya, 1991; Tokinoya, 1996; Youichi, 1996). The lesson of these
studies is that there is no universal set of reasons for using media: motivations vary across media,
genre, and culture. More recently, researchers have advanced the notion that uses and
gratifications may offer the best hope of an etiological explanation of both media uses and media
effects (Rubin, 1994, Sherry, 2001b, Tannenbaum, 1996). For example, Sherry (2001b) has
demonstrated that media use is driven, in part, by heritable neurophysiological substrates
including limbic system structures, the behavioral inhibition system, and neurotransmitters
including serotonin and norepinepherine. Further, Rubin (1994) has begun investigating media
effects that are a function of gratifications sought.
The present article builds from the foundation laid by earlier research by examining the
new medium of video games from a uses and gratifications perspective. There have been a few
attempts at using uses and gratifications to date; however, these studies are dated and lacked
sophisticated scale development methodology. Selnow (1984) published the first video game
uses and gratifications study in which he surveyed 244 10- to 24-year-olds about the needs and
gratifications met by video games. Because most video game play in the early 1980s occurred at


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