Recovery from work by playing video games

Ömer Erdem Koçak*, Marjan Gorgievski, Arnold B. Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Integrating the dualistic model of passion in the recovery literature, the present study investigates how playing video games after work hours can facilitate recovery from work stress. We predicted that passion for gaming would relate to gaming more hours in the evening. Next, we hypothesized that playing video games in the evening would relate to (a) feeling recovered the next morning through psychological detachment and (b) feeling vigorous the next morning through mastery experiences while gaming. We further hypothesized that harmonious passion would strengthen, and obsessive passion would weaken the links between gaming hours and (a) psychological detachment and (b) mastery. In total, 65 employees filled in short questionnaires in the mornings and evenings of at least five workdays (total n = 502). Results of multilevel hierarchical regression analyses supported the proposed mediation model, indicating that playing video games indeed helps replenish energy resources during leisure time. Findings additionally showed that gaming also predicted feeling recovered in the morning through mastery experiences. Players with a harmonious passion may benefit more from playing video games; harmonious (but not obsessive) passion strengthened the relationship between gaming and mastery experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1331-1360
Number of pages29
JournalApplied Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2023

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© 2023 The Authors. Applied Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of International Association of Applied Psychology.

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