Exploring the Effects of Psychological Ownership, Gaming Motivations, and Primary/Secondary Control on Online Game Addiction
Decision Support Systems 2021
42 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2021
Date Written: January 28, 2021
Online gaming has grown to be a very popular electronic entertainment for people throughout the world. However, the burgeoning popularity of online games in some cases leads to addiction, a phenomenon that has received considerable attention. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of psychological ownership, gaming motivation, and primary–secondary control on online game addiction (OGA). Based on 436 valid responses collected from online questionnaires, the partial least squares structural equation modeling approach was employed to test the research model. Findings show that the motivations of achievement and escapism are positively associated with psychological ownership toward a virtual gaming environment. Of particular interest is the inverted-U relationship between psychological ownership and OGA, suggesting that too little or too much psychological ownership is associated with less OGA. Finally, individuals with high levels of primary (secondary) control are more (less) inclined to be addicted to online games. This study provides practical implications and strategies to address the alarming increase in OGA. First, families, communities, and universities should encourage outdoor activities, such as sports competitions, and offline cosplay games to address the need for achievement and escapism. Second, individuals who play online games for relaxation should choose a relatively easy or hard mode to avoid game addiction. Finally, parents, teachers, and employers are encouraged to pay attention to individuals who have a high level of primary control since they can be susceptible to OGA. This study provides several theoretical contributions. First, the study enriches OGA and the gaming motivation literature by exploring the roles of gaming motivation, psychological ownership, and personal control strategies as they can be a factor in OGA. In addition, this study is the first to investigate the dark side of psychological ownership in terms of negative outcomes for OGA. This study also advances the personal control strategy literature by understanding the roles of primary and secondary control on OGA.
Keywords: Online game addiction, psychological ownership, gaming motivations, primary control, secondary control
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