Why people play video games: Top 10 reasons

Teachers. Parents. Girlfriends. Ever wonder why kids, teens and adults play video games? Learn more about what motivates gamers to check out of “reality” and plug in to the game. We’ve got the top 10 reasons why people play video games here.

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Video gaming culture

If you aren’t big into video games, you may think that playing video games is a waste of time.  And you might looks for the Top reasons why video games are bad for you.   But gamers would disagree with you totally.

Most often, it seems that people engage with video games because it is their chosen medium of entertainment. Many games are accompanied by a storyline or game challenges that engage a gamer’s mental and emotional buttons. This may be what keeps them coming back. Or it might be that explosions, gun fire and eliminating opponents (killing) attract and hold people’s attention.

Either way, gaming can become a way of life. Video gaming culture can become a way of relating to the world in either an ideal way or as a way to escape the responsibilities and disappointments of real life.  And it should be noted that it is possible that there are video game effects on people.  However, many gamers feel compelled to continue playing, and here are their reasons why.

Top 10 reasons people play video games

Taken from forum discussions about video gaming, here’s a basic primer on what motivates people to play video games and why people like to play video games.

1. Entertainment and fun

2. Challenge

3. Boredom – “Games are my “fall back” way to kill time when I have nothing to do.”

4. Camaraderie and connectedness – “The main thing that drives me is teamwork., I don’t like free-for-all… I want team-based games. Teamwork [is] the only thing I want online.”

5. Emotional satisfaction – “In short,we do it cause its fun and it feels good.”

6. Alternative to negative behaviors – “They keep me occupied and out of trouble.”

7. Escapism – “With video games, you can escape the perpetual boredom of the real world, and become anything you want to be.”

8. Practice or learn life skills – “I…organize, prioritize, create context, make friends, lead strangers, make hard choices, feel empathy, and give mercy”

9. Stress relief (displacement or delay of responsibility IRL*)

10. Difficulty making friends IRL

* IRL = in real life

Video gaming debate

Each case of video game use needs to be evaluated individually.  In fact, playing video games cannot be intrinsically categorized as “GOOD” or “BAD”.  For example, if you’ve ever wondered, “How are video games good for you?” , there are many benefits to playing video games that can even be transferred to real life.  But what do you think?  What brought you here to look at this list?  Are you trying to change someone else’s behavior?  Do you wish for a different society?  Your comments and feedback are welcomed below.

Reference sources: 2K Games Forums, BattleOn Forums, Game Trailers Forums
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Can I ask who is the author of this? I need it for our research to give credit. Hoping for your immediate response.

    1. Hi Ivory. This article belongs to Addiction Blog. You can site or use this article as a reference source.

  2. I am a gamer that doesn’t make the devil it makes me have a reason to get up in the morning a reason to get good grades so i can get new ones i like them its fun

  3. The 3rd 1 is true for me, I stopped playing videogames a long time ago because I found out that I had many things to do, now I’ve gotten into princeton university and became a surgen. I’m succesful in life because I stopped the addiction.

  4. I feel really sad at all the misconceptions. that gamers don’t like sports and that there real lives are boring and they live in there moms basement.

    well that is not the majority of people. i my self like going on my off-road motorbike,i like going cycling i like sports But i also like gaming. and yes i do have a little treble making friends but that is not because i play games infact that is why i play games.

    And yes YOU may not like gaming BUT I DO, YOU may think its a waste of time BUT I DON’T.
    You need to realise that just because you don’t like same thing does not make that law for everybody else.

    But you know what i have to say to you all of you I DON’T CARE what you think, i’m going to continue to play games and enjoy playing them because it does not affect my life in a bad way.
    and its fun!!

  5. I don’t think games are good or bad — my kids and grandkids play video games. I have just never been into games — period! An occasional board game or maybe chess, OK and its been years since I have played chess. Real life consumes my life and I have never understood virtual reality since there is too much real reality I have to take care of. I was just curious because my fun is really not gamey or groupy

  6. I use video games not only for fun, but to keep the really high amounts of stress I have, at bay. Without video games, I’d probably be doing something really stupid right about now.

  7. I came across this because I myself am addicted to video games and I don’t realize how much time I kill playing video games. I am writing an essay for school about why kids should not play video games a long time and I needed one objection for it. Now I have objections! Thanks Addiction Blog!

  8. Well, I am old, not young — but I know old people who play video games and it is because they seem to lack the ability, skills and/or determination to learn anything else that could be thought of as “FUN.” But then, other than an occasional card game or chess, games in general are not that fun for me and never were — board games or video games. I do many other things for “enjoyment,” satisfaction,” and numerous other words that I would not place in the “FUN” category. I sew, I ride my horse, I play the piano, I belong to a hiking club, I sing in two choirs. I have a job I go to every day. I interact with people daily and I do not need the camaraderie of gamers because when I am not doing the above things I can entertain myself. I love to read and read a lot for pleasure — both on a device and real books. I do not need group interaction all the time, but enjoy my real life. I love competition — my piano students compete in contests and I feel a sense of satisfaction because I was their teacher and coach. And I guess that is the answer. I enjoy my life and do not need to escape. I feel sorry for those whose lives are so empty they need to make up a fake one over some electronic device.

  9. I wanted to prove to my parents that video games aren’t just a bad habit but more of a way for me to have a good time with some of my close friends in a game we all love. They just don’t understand that games are more than just a habit/ addiction. This has really been stressing me out lately as it makes me feel like they simply don’t care about what I have to say, or how I feel, or maybe that they don’t care about me in general. Any tips for dealing with this?

  10. I do not game myself and as a much older adult I guess I just do not understand the attraction of games in general. Maybe I am too much IRL and too busy. I am rarely bored and find the few times I have tried any game to be boring — staring at a screen constantly– Yup! I am not a digital native. I do not even like TV. I have a Kindle that I rarely use and an I-Pad that I break out once a month and I gave up my smart phone — no reason to pay the bill if I don’t use it. SO — if games are based on how many devices you own and actually use, I would be rock bottom.

  11. As an individual interested greatly in psychology as well as science and just ending the second term of my freshman year of high school, I felt compelled to Google this topic, why people are so addicted to video games, already anticipating the nature of the various answers I would find. Sadly, I was right. Video games are an addiction, just as much as drugs and alcohol, that can be broken, with effort and support from those around you. I am a strong believer in spiritualism, and the best way to solve life’s challenges are to find the courage and answers within yourself and conquer what is holding you back from experiencing all the other things in life, instead of surrendering the the alternative reality build around the screen. Maybe that is just me, but that is how I see this issue. Life is a grand adventure, no need to spend so much of it behind the screens 🙂 And yes, it does kill brain cells.

  12. I came across this page because I googled “person playing video games” and the image up top was one of the first good results.

    While I’m replying, I have to say that I agree wholeheartedly that VG’s have both positive and negative side effects. With games that allow multi-personal communication (talking between actual people), it can lead to the gamer coming into contact with other cultures, as well as being able to develop leadership and teamwork skills. Split-screen games can help someone make friends easier (like mentioned by the writer of this page already). However, if the other people on-line lie about things (ie. saying that shaking hands is seen as derogatory in the U.S.A., when it’s really just a greeting), then this can lead to cultural misconceptions. Single-player games also have a double effect. While they can lead to the development of a host of skills, they can also cause a person to become detached from reality and serious dependency issues related to becoming too attached to the virtual world.

    That said, I believe that games can facilitate many good qualities, but moderation is extensively important. I personally like video games, for some of the reasons mentioned above and others.

  13. Games are good for another life you want to live, they also increase creativity which is the best characteristic for inventers and any other jobs that include making a better environment.

  14. i didn’t play a single game on my ps3 for now about 4 month, and if I was to try now, Im sure I will get bored after 10 minutes. The way i did it is really easy. Here are the few things to respect in order of importance.
    1. dont buy any new games
    2. Get a girlfriend ( works 75% )
    3. socialise more with your friends and girlfriends (clubbing)
    4. find a different addiction (books, social networks, youtube videos)
    5. make sure you are up to date with your work/homework before you play
    6. Dont play during school/work days
    7. try to keep your gaming spirit for rainy sundays
    8. Get into a sport
    9. Get some balls and face your problems.
    10. Tell yourself that it is destroying your brain each time you play
    11. tell your parents/wife/… to hide your console.

    really the most important one is the first, its the one that worked for me… PLS leave a message if you tried my method, and express your opinion about it…

  15. I actually just wanted to know what drives people to play video games because I plan to be a game maker. That would be an important fact to know.Because I’m posting I guess I should mention my top three reasons for playing video games are
    1.The Challenge(puzzle or hand eye coordination )
    2.The Social aspects(Seeing my dad or brother)
    3.The Safety(I enjoy climbing and running but skydiving and shooting people is a bit to much for me.)
    Last thing I wrote my name as Maybe Jacob because you don’t need my name.

  16. in my own opinion video games are good and bad at the same time on one hand they cause bad habits and make it hard to make friends but it helps in others to that’s why you use moderation thairs thousands of other things that are like this like alcohol you don’t just go and say if you do this you will go kill a bunch of orfins its all in moderation

  17. Hi Daniel. No, I think that people simply need to learn to self-regulate their video game playing. And to make it a part of a holistic life.

  18. Hi everyone. I just wanted to add something about making friends in real life. I am 36 right now. I have maybe one friend who I can count on. Friends are really hard to come by in life. But acquaintances are plenty. So, if you can find people who also love video games, but who you also enjoy activities OTHER THAN playing videos games….you might be able to use gaming to your advantage.

    Do you see what I mean?

  19. I love to go to clubs with friends, but sometimes that addiction makes me stay home and play like a looser. It funny and intertaning but when that addiction affects friends, school, family relation, your character and a lot of other stuff that will play a bad role in your future life, it really makes me wanna stop, tonight I’m going OUT… Thanks for creating websites like that, I feel good when I see that some people really care…

  20. well, i feel like i wanna stop cause all the reasons here are true for me::(
    making frndes used to be difficoult for me but almost not anymore, but am really addicted and wanna stop doing that but i don’t know how?

  21. I’m doing research for my compare and contrast essay. That I need to get done for school on “Why people choose video games over board games”. This is how I came across this web link.

    Video games can be used for educational purposes. They can relate to real life situation, as in simulation.

  22. Too much video games are like bad omens. You’ll go nowhere unless you dispose of the habit. I’m not saying that video games are bad. If they’re bad they’ve already been removed from the current history.
    What I’m saying is that playing games should be taken in moderation just like in taking in medicine and eating chocolates.

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