Psychology: We Play Video Games to Chase Our ‘Ideal Selves’


What exactly is it about video games that holds so much drawing power? Last year, a staggering 500 million video games were sold throughout the world, and, despite some recent slippage earlier in May, the industry as a whole remains one of the biggest, most lucrative markets out there.

Now, a new study set to be published in a coming issue of Psychological Science seeks to uncover exactly what it is about video games that attracts such a passionate and dedicated fan base. According to a report out today in Science Daily, the answer lies somewhere beyond mere role playing; it’s actually a desire to find our “ideal selves.”

“A game can be more fun when you get the chance to act and be like your ideal self,” says Dr. Andy Przybylski, a research fellow at the University of Essex who led the study. “The attraction to playing video games and what makes them fun is that it gives people the chance to think about a role they would ideally like to take and then get a chance to play that role.”

Read the whole story: Time

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