Are games more than fun? - Motivational aspects on digital games


  • Sandra Johansson
  • Staffan Nählinder
  • Peter Berggren

Publish date: 2009-08-25

Report number: FOI-R--2796--SE

Pages: 30

Written in: English


  • games
  • entertainment
  • education
  • edutainment
  • intrinsic motivation
  • play
  • serious games
  • digital game-based learning
  • e-learning


Games are increasingly becoming a powerful and effective tool for training. The use of games as a training tool increase intrinsic motivation which enhances learning. This study concerns why people play and why they continue play. The study consists of two parts; a focus group and a web questionnaire. The results suggest that people prefer playing together with others, and that they play mainly because of entertainment, fellowship and pastime. Results also show that the participants come to an agreement of five different characteristics a game must have in order for the participants to play; a pleasant game feeling i.e.- effects like sounds, characters and environments, variation in tasks, successively increased difficulty, a exciting story and that the game must be understandable. These findings are important because these are factors that game designers must take into consider when designing training games. After all, entertainment and intrinsic motivation in games is some of the general reasons why people play and why they learn, and therefore, a game only designed for training is doomed to fail.

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