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 editors: Karhulahti, Veli-Matti; Nerg, Henri; Laitinen, Tanja; Päivinen, Antti; Chen, Yingrong

Journal or series: Current Psychology

ISSN: 1046-1310

eISSN: 1936-4733

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 22/08/2022

Volume: Early online

Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-03586-x

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

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

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

Additional information: Sähköinen 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.

Keywords: COVID-19; pandemics; playing (games and sports); computer games; video games; technology; well-being; effects (results); psychosocial factors; qualitative research

Free keywords: Covid-19; gaming; qualitative methods; technology use; wellbeing

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Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-03-04 at 09:11