A1 Journal article (refereed)
Eight Hypotheses on Technology Use and Psychosocial Wellbeing: A Bicultural Phenomenological Study of Gaming during the COVID-19 Pandemic (2022)

Karhulahti, V.-M., Nerg, H., Laitinen, T., Päivinen, A., & Chen, Y. (2022). Eight Hypotheses on Technology Use and Psychosocial Wellbeing: A Bicultural Phenomenological Study of Gaming during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Current Psychology, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-03586-x

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsKarhulahti, Veli-Matti; Nerg, Henri; Laitinen, Tanja; Päivinen, Antti; Chen, Yingrong

Journal or seriesCurrent Psychology



Publication year2022

Publication date22/08/2022

VolumeEarly online

PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication countryUnited States

Publication languageEnglish


Research data linkhttp://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:fsd:T-FSD3545

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82806

Additional informationSähköinen tietoaineisto: Videopelaaminen koronapandemian aikana: kysely 2020, http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi:fsd:T-FSD3547.


In this nonconfirmatory qualitative study, we pursued a range of hypotheses regarding how gaming operates in the lives and psychosocial wellbeing of those who actively play videogames during a crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Informed by an explorative survey (N = 793), interpretive phenomenological analysis was applied to interview data from actively gaming Chinese (n = 10) and Finnish (n = 10) participants. Our findings demonstrate how the general increase of pandemic-time gaming did not manifest in all player groups, but in some life contexts gaming activity rather decreased along with reformations in subjective meaning hierarchies and values. Ultimately, eight subordinate themes were refined into testable hypotheses. The study encourages policies that promote socially supportive gaming during pandemic-like situations to consider including personally meaningful solitary play in their recommendations and highlighting context-specificity over generalization. Finally, as almost all our data points echoing experiences of decreasing gaming activity came from China, we stress the importance of culturally diverse samples in the psychological study of global phenomena.

KeywordsCOVID-19pandemicsplaying (games and sports)computer gamesvideo gamestechnologywell-beingeffects (results)psychosocial factorsqualitative research

Free keywordsCovid-19; gaming; qualitative methods; technology use; wellbeing

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 19:58