This month’s Jargon Schmargon was about game motivations, which is intimately tied to a theory we use quite a bit in game studies called uses and gratifications. Uses and gratifications theory is an approach to understanding why and how people actively seek out specific media to satisfy specific needs.
For example, why we seek out exciting TV programs when we feel bored or happy programs when we feel sad. Uses and gratifications explains why we have to be ‘in the mood’ to watch Handmaid’s tale… especially when the world around us already looks like a nightmarish dystopia straight out of an episode of Black Mirror.
In addition to exploring the academic research supporting uses and gratifications theory and other theories of motivation (i.e Self Determination theory), this episode of Academic Ramblings will also deep dive into my own history of video game play and explore how I was “using” games to fulfill specific “gratifications” to better illustrate these theories within everyday use.