Why We Play - aka Motivation

Here's a gaming research news story that was picked up by the video game media today about a study conducted by the University of Rodchester on 1000 gamers:

A reason why video games are hard to give up: Kids and adults will stay glued to video games this holiday season because the fun of playing actually is rooted in fulfilling their basic psychological needs.

I love the connection here to the educational strategies in games. Many of the driving desires to play and find enjoyment are the same as those educational benefits found by the Federation of American Scientists:

- opportunities for achievement (assessment)
- freedom (choice and personalization)
- connection to other players (social interaction)
- autonomy (self achievement and goal setting)
- relatedness (real life applications)

It's good to see the motivating factors that keep players playing are many of the educational factors as well. This bodes well for us as educators looking to use games and game strategies. If and when we can weave our content into gaming formats the research is there to show that it may not only be educational but also successful in keeping the students engaged.