How self-esteem shapes our interactions with play technologies

Max V. Birk, Regan L. Mandryk, Matthew K. Miller, Kathrin M. Gerling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The experience that results from video game play is shaped by the play environment, but also by various characteristics of the person playing. We investigated how player self-esteem predicts post-game motivation (enjoyment, effort, and tension), and conducted mediated regressions to show that players' self-esteem alters post-play motivation by affecting how needs are satisfied during play. We also explored how self-esteem predicts post-play positive and negative affect and conducted mediated regressions to show how motivation partially mediates those effects. Our work suggests that players with different levels of self-esteem experience games differently; but more importantly, we provide an explanation of how these differences form by examining the mechanisms during games that ultimately contribute to player experience. Situating our results within theories of self, we discuss the importance of self-esteem for understanding player experience, describe the implications for games research, and consider how self-esteem shapes our interactions with play technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI PLAY '15 : Proceedings of the 2015 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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