Work and improve upon the way we motivate

Work meets
a desire to feel accomplished and satisfies our ‘three invisible needs’ that as
we know can also in some ways be fulfilled by games. Although this is true games
are way more efficient satisfiers, Przybylski states, “The connection to how hard we work is often
mismatched with the feedback we get from the real world.” It is clear what you
will achieve in games and how you will be rewarded for your time playing,
making them consistent and transparent in motive, meaning no manipulation or
under payment of reward, a risk all to real with work in reality. “One of the
things that’s really powerful about video games is the level of connection
between how hard you work and the feedback you receive for your behavior.”
Games also provide a more diverse range of choices that the real world cant
offer, gamers can go wherever they want in its world and enter situations that
would otherwise have negative, even life threatening consequences without
apprehension. Games reward the player immediately, providing positive feedback
instantly when we succeed and report our level of performance along the way,
helping us improve. We can learn a lot from games, and improve upon the way we
motivate workers in industry using these highly tuned feedback systems.


reason is not clearly defined why many of us enjoy games that are so similar to
“work”, but the discussion may reveal larger social trends in what ultimately
separates work from play.

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To understand further why we
enjoy games despite their work like nature we have to understand the meaning
and different types of motivation. According to Ryan, R.M and Deci, E.L in
their paper ‘Self-determination theory
and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development and
well-being’, “To
be motivated means to be moved to do something.”  They argue that motivation is individual and
varies in intensity and orientation. They believe rather than a set
psychological value for everyone it is “the underlying attitudes and goals that
give rise to the action”. These different ‘orientations’ lead to the concept of
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

If asked most gamers would
say they play for ‘fun’, this is the idea of intrinsic motivation. It is the
idea that people play for its inherent enjoyment, rather than for a specific
need, product or consequence. Intrinsic motivation is very individual meaning
not everyone will enjoy similar tasks, this explains why people have preferred
genres of games and why some do not enjoy games at all. The personal aspects
are highlighted by specific individual and interpersonal factors – namely
‘challenge, fantasy curiosity and control (in terms of individual factors) –
and cooperation, competition and recognition (in terms of interpersonal

Extrinsic motivation is the
concept that people are
motivated to perform a task (or play a level in a game) for the sole reason of
attaining a reward or to avoid a penalty. Ryan
and Deci argue that extrinsic motivation is an overly simplistic view of the
construct. These concepts can be seen to contradict Scott Rigby, Richard M. Ryan and Nick Yee’s belief of there
being three basic psychological needs, as they almost suggest that anyone could
find satisfaction in playing any popular game.

continued motivation relies on more than just fulfilling psychological needs. A
study done at National Dong Hwa University, found that the players satisfaction
and flow experience is very important to the players continued play and
enjoyment of a game. Depending on the type of game and gamer, factors that can
relate to flow and enjoyment include the games story, level design and on the
more technical side, the graphics, control and in some cases how well it runs.
In multiplayer games the social part is also critical, a game can become
demotivating if there is a lack of recognition of the more advanced players, or
has a bad community.



have much to teach us in the way in which we teach our new generations,
especially in schools where motivation can be severely lacking, low interest in
this area can be damaging to the education of children. Recently there has been
far more research on how video games and the psychological tools they use could
be repurposed for education. Guilliaume Denis and Pierre Jouvelot, in their
article ‘Motivation-Driven Educational Game Design’ write, “Building upon research on
motivation theory, we provide insights on how video games can be framed as
expert tools that naturally reconcile learning and fun, a worthy goal since
students are forced to where players volunteer, namely learning.”



games are not always looked upon as purely positive motivators, Video game
violence has become a highly politicized issue, and concerns continue to be
debated around whether playing video games may increase aggression and prompt
violence in players. Although this is one theory, another that is less often
discussed is that playing violent video games may promote certain positive
developments, such as visuospatial cognition. “Visuospatial cognition enables us to perceive and interact
with our visual world. It includes everyday skills such as the ability to reach
for and grasp our knife and fork and to recognise the food on the plate”. The study conducted in In Christopher J Fergusons in his
article ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: A Meta-analytic Review of Positive and
Negative Effects on Violent Video Games’ examines the impact of violent video
games on aggressive behaviour as well as its effect on visuospatial cognition
in an attempt to understand the impact these games could have. Fergusons
states, “Once corrected for publication bias,
studies of video game violence provided no support for the hypothesis that
violent video game playing is associated with higher aggression. However
playing violent video games remained related to higher visuospatial cognition”.
In conclusion with the current results from the analysis, it is not supported that
playing violent video games lead to an increase in aggressive behaviour. However,
it was found that violent video game playing was correlated with higher
visuospatial cognition.


Research does not show that every facet of our existence would
be improved if it adhered to the rules of video games; some work is just that,
effort is needed to obtain results and in some areas quality of life cannot be
improved. However, most human ventures can be improved by changing them in
effective ways to meet their psychological needs, as video games have been
shown to do so well.


Research has shown that gaming helps improve visuo-motor
coordination, iconic skill, spatial representation and visual attention.
Moreover as we have seen, recently there has been a wider call for video games
for purposes other than entertainment, helping with problems in fields like
education, work and healthcare.


Looking at all of the information and research we have on
gaming motivations it is clear that, although at a glance the design of the
motivational aspects seem to be insignificant to why we play in comparison to
the main content, it holds a huge influence on why we enjoy gaming so much.  Games that wish to succeed, must take the
psychological aspects of play into account, the most beloved games are those
that invest a player and those that give them a reason to continue playing.


Not only are the games we play fun and relaxing but they are steadily
advancing our society, and beginning to change the world beyond their own.


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