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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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Volume 39, Issue 1 (Mar 2014)


The older player of digital games: A classification based on perceived need satisfaction

Bob De Schutter
  • College of Education, Health & Society, and the Armstrong Institute of Interactive Media Studies at Miami University (Oxford, OH, USA)
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/ Steven Malliet
  • Department of Communication Studies at the University of Antwerp, and the MAD Faculty of the Catholic University College of Limburg
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Published Online: 2014-03-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2014-0005


The current study aims to integrate the findings of previous research on the use of video games by older adults by applying the Uses & Gratifications (U&GT) paradigm (Blumler and Katz, 1974). A qualitative study was performed with 35 participants aged between 50 and 74, who were selected from a larger sample of 213. Based upon their primary playing motives and the gratifications they obtain from digital game play, a classification was developed, resulting in five categories of older adults who actively play games: “time wasters”, “freedom fighters”, “compensators”, “value seekers” and “ludophiles”.

Keywords: uses and gratifications; motivation; older players; digital games; life-span perspective; substitution hypothesis; selective media audience

About the article

Published Online: 2014-03-04

Published in Print: 2014-03-03

Citation Information: Communications, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2014-0005.

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©2014 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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