Players Just Want to Have Fun? An Exploratory Survey on Hedonic and Eudaimonic Game Motives

Daniel Possler, Rowan Daneels, Nicholas D. Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has shown that seeking fun and enjoyment (i.e., hedonic reasons) motivates playing digital games. However, recent scholarship revealed that gaming also evokes eudaimonic entertainment experiences, such as meaningfulness and being moved. Yet, it is unclear whether players turn to games to have such eudaimonic experiences. Hence, the present study explored potential eudaimonic gaming motives in an online survey among fans (N = 894) of five yet-to-be-released games. Specifically, it was examined whether eudaimonic motives, derived from gaming research and scholarship in positive psychology, complement an existing scale measuring gaming motives. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (split-half method) demonstrated that “Eudaimonia” represents a distinct reason to play—alongside the well-known motives of “Absorption” and “Social Interaction.” Moreover, the Eudaimonia motive for using the five games was positively related to general eudaimonic orientations in life and trait-like eudaimonic game preferences. The results suggest that digital gaming may also be eudaimonically motivated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGames and Culture
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • entertainment
  • eudaimonia
  • game selection
  • gaming motives
  • hedonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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