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  • 1.
    Hagström, David
    et al.
    Uppsala University.
    Kaldo, Viktor
    Karolinska Institutet.
    Escapism among players of MMORPGs: conceptual clarification, its relation to mental health factors, and development of a new measure2014In: CyberPsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, ISSN 2152-2715, E-ISSN 2152-2723, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 19-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous studies show that the concept of escapism needs to be clarified and that its relation to problematic online gaming and other factors needs further examination. This study uses well-established, basic learning theory to clarify the concept of escapism, and examines its relation to problematic gaming, psychological distress, and satisfaction with life among players of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). MMORPG players (n=201) answered an online questionnaire where these factors were measured and correlated with a previously developed scale on motivation to play (MTPI), including extra items to cover positive and negative aspects of escapism. Factor analysis and construct validation show that positive aspects of escapism are theoretically and empirically unstable and that escapism is best clarified as purely "negative escapism," corresponding to playing being negatively reinforced as a way of avoiding everyday hassles and distress. Negative escapism had a stronger relationship to symptoms of Internet addiction, psychological distress, and life satisfaction than other variables and other more positive motivations to play. Future studies should use the revised subscale for escapism (in the MTPI-R) presented in the present study, for example when screening for Internet addiction.

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