Defining Media Enjoyment as the Satisfaction of Intrinsic Needs

R. Tamborini, Nicholas Bowman, A. Eden, M. Grizzard, A. Organ

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a model of enjoyment rooted in self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) that includes the satisfaction of three needs related to psychological well-being: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. In an experiment designed to validate this conceptualization of enjoyment, we manipulate video game characteristics related to the satisfaction of these needs and examine their relative effects on enjoyment. The validated model explains 51% of the variance in enjoyment, even without including needs usually studied in relation to enjoyment such as pleasure seeking. Results indicate the utility of defining enjoyment as need satisfaction. These results are discussed in terms of a broader conceptualization of enjoyment represented as the satisfaction of a comprehensive set of functional needs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-777
JournalDefault journal
StatePublished - 2010


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