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Video Game Uses and Gratifications as Predictors of Use and Game Preference
Unformatted Document Text:  Video game U&G 6 arcades and the home console systems that currently dominate game play did not exist, the study was limited to patterns of arcade game use. Further, Selnow did not make a distinction between the reasons why an individual might use video games and why the individual would use television. Instead of developing a video game specific measure, he used Greenberg’s (1974) television uses and gratifications scale, adding a few additional video game specific dimensions. He isolated five U&G factors, that arcade video game play: a) is preferable to human companions ( α = .83), b) teaches about people ( α = .67), c) provides companionship ( α = .75), d) provides activity/action ( α = .67), and e) provides solitude/escape ( α = .63). These five factors were significantly correlated with amount of game play. A second uses and gratifications study of video games was published the following year (Wigand, Borstelmann, & Boster, 1985). Again, the focus was on arcade use, so scale development focused largely on understanding reasons that adolescents used arcades, rather than games. Based on the existing literature in the early 1980s, Wigand et al. (1985) designed a 12- item instrument. Subsequent factor analysis revealed three factors with low alpha coefficients: Excitement ( α = .69), Satisfaction ( α = .75), and Tension-reduction ( α = .51). More recently, research in the U.K. has touched on uses and gratifications of video game playing exclusively. A survey conducted by Phillips, Rolls, Rouse, and Griffiths (1995) used single item measures of video game play motivation including: “to pass time,” “to avoid doing other things,” “to cheer oneself up,” and “just for enjoyment.” Furthermore, Griffiths’s (1991a, 1991b) research on video game addicts proposed additional uses and gratifications, including arousal, social rewards, skill testing, displacement, and stress reduction. To understand the reasons for video game play and how those reasons relate to amount and patterns of use, two studies were undertaken. In the first study, we used focus groups to

Authors: Sherry, John. and Lucas, Kristen.
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Video game U&G 6
arcades and the home console systems that currently dominate game play did not exist, the study
was limited to patterns of arcade game use. Further, Selnow did not make a distinction between
the reasons why an individual might use video games and why the individual would use
television. Instead of developing a video game specific measure, he used Greenberg’s (1974)
television uses and gratifications scale, adding a few additional video game specific dimensions.
He isolated five U&G factors, that arcade video game play: a) is preferable to human companions
(
α
= .83), b) teaches about people (
α
= .67), c) provides companionship (
α
= .75), d) provides
activity/action (
α
= .67), and e) provides solitude/escape (
α
= .63). These five factors were
significantly correlated with amount of game play.
A second uses and gratifications study of video games was published the following year
(Wigand, Borstelmann, & Boster, 1985). Again, the focus was on arcade use, so scale
development focused largely on understanding reasons that adolescents used arcades, rather than
games. Based on the existing literature in the early 1980s, Wigand et al. (1985) designed a 12-
item instrument. Subsequent factor analysis revealed three factors with low alpha coefficients:
Excitement (
α
= .69), Satisfaction (
α
= .75), and Tension-reduction (
α
= .51). More recently,
research in the U.K. has touched on uses and gratifications of video game playing exclusively. A
survey conducted by Phillips, Rolls, Rouse, and Griffiths (1995) used single item measures of
video game play motivation including: “to pass time,” “to avoid doing other things,” “to cheer
oneself up,” and “just for enjoyment.” Furthermore, Griffiths’s (1991a, 1991b) research on video
game addicts proposed additional uses and gratifications, including arousal, social rewards, skill
testing, displacement, and stress reduction.
To understand the reasons for video game play and how those reasons relate to amount
and patterns of use, two studies were undertaken. In the first study, we used focus groups to


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