The relationship between among variables and video game playing motivations has been under studied for years. Biological sex as well as gender-related traits both appeared to have significant influence on gaming motivations and further impacting gaming enjoyment. The presenting study contributed to the existing literature by testifying the predictive ability of gender identity to the influence of gaming motivations. Furthermore, this research also put its focus on distinguishing the different gaming pattern between LGBT group and non-LGBT game players to fill blank in gaming literature overlooking this marginalized minority group. In order to have an idea what the gaming motivations could lead to, all variables were finally tested as predictors of gaming enjoyment. The study addressed the guiding research question: To what extend would players’ gaming motivations be influenced by gender identity and differentiate with LGBT players? Solid theoretical frameworks contributed to build up this research. For operationalization, the study used the PN-SRI model to evaluate gender identity and self-determination theory to evaluate gamer’s intrinsic and contextual motivations of playing video games. Based on these theories, a quantitative survey was gesigned among a diverse sample of video game players (N = 209). Results showed that LGBT players had significant differences regarding gaming motivations and gender identity had an influence on all intrinsic gaming motivations. More specifically, the present study found out that LGBT group had significant higher gaming hour and was less likely to be motivated by competence. In the predictive model, sexual orientation could also be used as significant predictor of the intrinsic motivation of relatedness and contextual motivation of intuitive control. The results revealed that negative femininity could be used as a negative predictor for intrinsic motivation of autonomy, while negative masculinity could be sued as a positive predictor for the intrinsic motivation of both competence and relatedness. Further, this study showed that gaming enjoyment could be predicted by gender identity and intrinsic gaming motivations. Negative femininity, the motivation of autonomy and relatedness were the significant predictors for enjoyment. The present findings thus confirmed that gender identity and sexual orientation add valuable information in the studies of gaming habits and behaviors. In the end, it is who the individual is that matter and nothing more.

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Kneer, J.
Media, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Zhang, Yubo. (2021, July 12). What makes you game?: The differences of sexual minority and influence of gender identity on self-determined motivation and gaming enjoyment. Media, Culture & Society. Retrieved from