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Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Marlin Bates

First Committee Member

Teresa Bergman

Second Committee Member

Heather Hether

Abstract

This thesis explores the contemporary world of video games and analyzes why people engage with single player and multiplayer video game experiences. Based on the uses and gratifications framework, this study examines how college students are engaging with video games and if they prefer single player or online multiplayer video games. Focus groups were conducted with college students to explore the video game culture. The results demonstrated that participants preferred single player video games due to less interruption from social interactions with online multiplayer games, but also to avoid harassment and negative criticisms that continue to plague online multiplayer experiences. Results also suggest that participants seek solitude while engaging with video games in order to become immersed within the game for a more relaxed and fun experience. Gratification dimensions were included from previous research including: arousal, challenge, competition, diversion, fantasy, and social interaction. Several new dimensions not matching previous research were discovered in the data that provided new perspectives on why players engage with single player video games. The participants discussed that single player video games could be played at their own pace, stopped at any time, and then continue their experience at their leisure. Participants were also researching and anticipating new game projects from their favorite developers. Additionally, participants suggest that if the developers made video games they enjoy playing, then the participants would continue to support and follow their future game projects.

Pages

94

ISBN

9781321660005

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