How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Games as Need-Fulfilment
We all have deep needs that drive much of what we do. Games can be clearly viewed with this lens, with which it can be seen how significant and useful this comparison is. For example:
When a teenager plays a video fighting, there is satisfaction of needs for control plus stimulation and safety at the same time. Although they can 'risk death', this is only in the simulated scenario.
A pool player satisfies their need for control with a great deal of practice. They then boost identity needs by doing well in club competitions.
Needs are fundamental human drivers and, while we may be seeking specific goals or other intent, beneath these are always the aim to satisfy basic needs.
The reason for playing games can be examined using the CIA Needs Model.
Games are largely about control. In games such as chess there is no luck and everything is down to our own skill. In video games, the control of avatars and objects is also found to be pleasurable.
In gambling, there may be no real control, but gamblers still believe they have some mysterious ability and just need to court luck. If they can do this, they can control their fate.
When we play deeply with a game we connect it to our sense of self as we 'become the game' and after a good game we emerge feeling good.
Identity is also boosted in the relationships we form with other players. We can be friends with them, we can be admired by them, we can feel superior and achieve a higher status.
Games are stimulating, hence helping our arousal needs as they engage and challenge us. If a game is not arousing, then it is probably a pretty poor game.
Challenging games like chess stimulate cognitive arousal. Video games can stimulate emotional arousal. Physical arousal can be gained through games such as football.