31.01.2020 | Original Article
Identification of Avatar Mediates the Associations Between Motivations of Gaming and Internet Gaming Disorder Among the Malaysian Youth
Soo Ting T’ng, Kee Pau
International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
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Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre has been expanding rapidly in Malaysia. However, the nature of this genre is addictive. Research in the area of Internet gaming disorder (IGD) among gamers of this genre is relatively new, signifying a substantial literature gap to be filled. The aim of the present study was to examine the selected determinants (i.e., motivations of gaming and identification of avatar) of IGD among MOBA gamers. The mediating role of identification of avatar in the associations between motivations of gaming (i.e., achievement, socialization, and immersion) and IGD was also investigated. A total of 1175 gamers were recruited through MOBA online groups in social media. Males were accounted for 75.20% (n = 808) and aged between 18 and 29 (Mage = 22.19 years, SD = 3.30). The findings revealed that motivation of achievement, motivation of immersion, and identification of avatar positively predict IGD, whereas motivation of socialization negatively predicts IGD among MOBA gamers. Identification of avatar was found as a significant mediator of the relationships between motivations of gaming and IGD. A large effect size was found with a total of 45% of variances explained by each determinant in the study. Overall, the findings of the present study provided empirical evidence for the underlying determinants of IGD. Intensive collaboration from various parties should be established for diminishing the potential adverse impacts of IGD on youth nowadays.