To date, reviews of the games literature have noted a lack of empirical studies examining the relationships between games and their purported benefits (Huizenga, Admiraal, & Dam, 2011; Vandercruysse, Vanderwaetere, & Clarebout, 2012; Young et al., 2012). Furthermore, researchers have called for a better understanding of the specific game features that may lead to beneficial outcomes (Hartmann & Klimmt, 2006; Klimmt, Schmid, & Orthmann, 2009; McNamara, Jackson, & Graesser, 2010; Vorderer, Bryant, Pieper, & Weber, 2006; Wilson et al., 2009). In this survey study, a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach was employed to better understand the specific features that influence player enjoyment of video games. The resulting Gameplay Enjoyment Model (GEM) explains players' overall Enjoyment of games, as well as their preferences for six specific types of enjoyment, including Challenge, Companionship, Competition, Exploration, Fantasy, and Fidelity. The implications of these model components are discussed in the context of educational game design and future directions for research are offered. GEM provides an empirical framework within which vital progress can be made in understanding the enjoyment of games and the role that games play in education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-80
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Education
  • Enjoyment
  • Game Design
  • Individual differences
  • Serious games
  • Video games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications


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