Determinants of mobile gaming need satisfaction in South Africa


Vol 17 | Issue 2 pp. 93-107


Mobile gaming is one of the fastest growing industries in the world and is playing a significant role in the entertainment industry, yet not much is known about the psychological drivers of mobile gaming need satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to explore how mobile gamers are inherently drawn to play games enthusiastically. Understanding the psychological game need satisfaction would be invaluable to game developers to develop mobile games that smartphone users will actually play. The study adopted a quantitative approach and descriptive research, using a non-probability convenience and snowball sampling technique. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 307 adult consumers who had downloaded a mobile game application at the time of the survey. The results of the Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) suggest that enjoyment is the most significant predictor of mobile gaming need satisfaction, followed by gaming facilitating conditions, while personal gratification and effort expectancy are insignificant factors. Mobile gaming developers can improve mobile gaming need satisfaction by developing mobile games that are satisfying and that enhance enjoyment through improved game features pertaining to novelty, design and competence. This study is one of the first in a developing economy to address the unexplored relationships between variables drawn from different theoretical frameworks within the context of mobile gaming, contributing to understanding mobile game need satisfaction through smartphones that are already well-integrated into users’ lifestyles.

Keywords: Mobile games, gaming need satisfaction, enjoyment, effort expectancy, personal gratification, gaming capability, psychological drivers, South Africa

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