Obreja [Abstract]

Playing dimensions during the Covid-19 pandemic: A qualitative
analysis regarding gaming during lockdown for Romanian players
[Full text]

Dragoș M. Obreja [1]

Abstract: The study of motives in sociology and new media is often debated in the digital environment. However, little has been written about the motives that encourage gamers to be active in the virtual environment, and even less about the subject of gaming during the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, the objective of this study is to point out some of the motives (be they social, cultural or economical) why different players have opted for gaming in an environment full of pandemic-induced lockdowns. Thereby, 28 Romanian gamers were selected from Youtube pages of a few streamers, to be interviewed twice: Once during the lockdown and once after the lockdown ended, obtaining a total of 56 interviews. Afterwards, a thematic analysis of the main identified motives was performed, which determined the identification of four main reasons in support of gaming: gaming as communicational environment, gaming as a “pandemic education” platform, gaming as nostalgia and gaming as acquiring new skills, each with its own characteristics. Even though some themes are present in the Covid-19 pandemic as they were in the past, there are new themes, such as gaming as a so-called “pandemic education”, where the game appears rather as a civic consciousness. Also, the WHO initiative, #PlayApartTogether, seems to be an important incentive to identify recurring themes regarding gaming during lockdown.

Keywords: Video games; Gaming; Motives; #PlayApartTogether; Streaming;

[1] Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest, Romania, dragosm.obreja@gmail.com; dragos.obreja@s.unibuc.ro.