San Francisco Chronicle:
People spend 3 billion hours a week playing videogames but little is known scientifically about why they are actually fun in the first place.
The vast majority of research into videogames has concentrated on the possible harmful effects of playing videogames, ignoring the simple question of why people actually want to play them.
But new research led by scientists at the University of Essex sheds some light on the appeal of videogames and why millions of people around the world find playing them so much fun.
The study investigated the idea that many people enjoy playing videogames because it gives them the chance to “try on” characteristics which they would like to have as their ideal self.
The research is part of ongoing work by Dr Andy Przybylski, a visiting research fellow at Essex, into how videogames affect people by trying to understand what draws so many people to such a wide variety of games.
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