The game industry is growing faster than the movie industry and the market of digital games grosses more than cinema box office receipts. The movie industry, as a whole, still outperforms the gaming industry. This is attributed primarily to ancillary revenues, such as DVDs and sales to TV networks and cable companies. The increasing popularity of gaming went hand in hand with the public expression of concerns about playing digital games. Parents, teachers, politicians, and many others were particularly concerned about the violence in games and about the addictive properties of gaming. Empirical research partly confirmed the worries about possible negative effects of violent content but failed to deliver substantial evidence for addiction to digital games. This chapter addresses the experiences that result from actually playing a game. The massive popularity of digital games stands witness to the fact that playing games is attractive for many people. This chapter proposes that gaming is an emotional experience that is intrinsically rewarding. In other words, gamers are motivated by the unfolding of the game itself, and they enjoy the accompanying feelings. Interestis crucial with respect to gaming. It dominates the gamer's immediate experience during a game session as an emotion proper and it acts as a motivational disposition in between separate gaming experiences. This chapter briefly characterizes the game as a product and discusses the principal game features that may appeal to (potential) players. It also describes the actual game experience and the development of specific gaming expertise. Furthermore, it discusses the implications of being an expert gamer for the gamer's identity and the themes that must be addressed in future research about the game experience.
- ESHCC M&C