People use media like games to solve perceived problems to stay balanced. Let me break the uses and gratifications paradigm down for you.
The idea is that we all have basic needs and individual differences. Moreover, these blend with contextual societal factors into a potent mix. The mix results in many perceived problems. These motivate us to seek gratifications from the media or elsewhere to problem-solve.
This behaviour leads to media effects patterns that affect people. The media effects are based on people’s characteristics and society (meaning social, political, cultural, and economic structures). You use media based on your social and psychological needs.
Uses and gratifications for media use
To quote the paper below, uses and gratification describes an individual’s media use and the media use effects. These effects are mainly “a function of the individual’s purpose for using the media.” Based on your needs, you use different media at different times.
This then means:
- Media users are not passively consuming but actively selecting content.
- The effects media has on you are also determined by your social and psychological goals and needs. BTW: This is true for video games and social media.
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Additionally, here is a video on the topic as well:
- Sherry, J. L., Lucas, K., Greenberg, B. S., & Lachlan, K. (2006). Video game uses and gratifications as predictors of use and game preference. Playing video games: Motives, responses, and consequences, 24(1), 213-224.
- Uses and gratifications by Konstantin Winter
- Uses and gratifications of social games: Blending social networking and gameplay by Jinghui Hou
- Wu, J. H., Wang, S. C., & Tsai, H. H. (2010). Falling in love with online games: The uses and gratifications perspective. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(6), 1862-1871.
- Bryant, J., & Miron, D. (2002). Entertainment as media effect. In J. Bryant & D. Zillmann (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (p. 549-582). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.