Psychological motivation in online role-playing games: A study of Spanish World of Warcraft players

H. Fuster, U. Oberst, M. Griffiths, X. Carbonell, A. Chamarro, A. Talarn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


The popularity of playing videogames has increased considerably during the last few decades, and has become one of the most popular leisure activities worldwide. Some of the most popular game types are the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs). How-ever, there has also been increased suspicion and social alarm that these games may possess an addictive potential, similar to other behavioural addictions, and that the user may develop maladaptive behaviours with respect to these games. The purpose of the present study was to assess the psychological motivations of playing World of Warcraft (WoW) and to relate them to socio-demographic variables and gaming styles. A questionnaire for assessing these motivations was developed and applied online to a collective of games. The final sample comprised 253 Spanish WoW players (all young males). Factor analysis of the questionnaire scores showed the presence of four motivations for gaming: socialisation, exploration, achievement, and dissociation. Results indicated that socialisation was one of the main motivational factors and that the gamers preferred the Player-versus-Player environment. Both of these aspects appear to be factors that may prevent potentially negative outcomes by inhibiting solitary play.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-280
JournalAnales de Psicologia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Addiction
  • Instrumental study
  • Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs)
  • Videogames
  • World of Warcraft


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