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How Specific Game Genres Affect Specific Moods

Can you level up your mood with gaming? It appears so- if you look for the right games to match your motivation.

Skillprint, a pioneer in adaptive, personalized games, conducted empirical research assessing 600 games and 130 features to understand the impact of gaming on mood. The study provides tailored gaming recommendations to fit the varying motivations of gamers.

Motivations for Gameplay

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The research focused on personality, cognitive skills, and mindset, assessing mobile games across various features. The report provides players with personalized game recommendations based on what their motivation is for gaming.

Motivation: Finding Calm

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Nearly 72% of participants in the study stated their motivation for playing games was to seek a sense of calm. These participants then tried and tested over 600 games to determine which type of games provoked that mood. 

Games promoting calm provide unlimited time and include puzzles, turn-based board games, and simulations.

Examples: Gardenscapes, Blockscapes.

Motivation: Seeking Focus

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A total of 35% of surveyed participants wanted to hone their focus.

Games with quick reflexes and skilled timing are helpful for increasing focus. Games with leaderboards like shooter, sports, and arcade genres top the list.

Examples of these types of games include Temple Run 2 and Sonic Dash.

Motivation: Being Creative

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More than half of the participants, 55%, said they play games to be creative.

Sandbox, strategy, and word games stimulate creativity, especially those involving recombining letters in word games.

Games such as Scrabble Go and Little Alchemy 2 are great choices to be creative.

Motivation: Overcoming Challenges

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While gamers may be motivated to play for different reasons, more than half enjoy the pure challenge of it all. Personality traits play a big role in both why we choose to play games and what type of games we play. Skillprint’s study shows that “players seeking relaxation are more introverted, and more emotional players are less likely to seek challenge. Younger players were more interested in finding challenge and focus.” 

The study suggested games in the sports, combat, and detective genres for those who seek a challenge. Games that involve math, logic, and timing are games that foster determination.

Examples: Photo Hunt, Bubble Spirit, Gummy Blocks, Geometry Dash, Rise Up.

Motivation: Exploration and Curiosity

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Surprisingly, exploration and adventure, at only 12%, were the lowest motivational reasons among participants to play games.  

Despite its lower ranking, the allure of exploration remains a primary factor for a segment of players who look for rich narratives and expansive environments. For gaming enthusiasts drawn to these genres, open-world, sandbox, and trivia games provide ample opportunities for exploration and serve as catalysts for heightened curiosity.

Examples: Stardew Valley Mobile, Design Home.

Motivation: Desire to Collaborate

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A significant 27% of participants cited collaboration as a motivating factor for playing games. Unsurprisingly, individuals with extroverted personality traits naturally gravitated towards games that embraced social dynamics and collaborative endeavors.

Those who thrive on teamwork, communication, and competitive scenarios find fulfillment in games like Spaceteam and Clash of Clans. 

Revelations on Gaming's Mental Health Impact

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“…our latest research offers timely insights into the profound impact of gaming on mental well-being. Our study highlights how games are more than leisure; they're a means to enhance cognitive skills and emotional states.” – Chethan Ramachandran, CEO of Skillprint.

Find the complete report on Skillprint's Blog.

10 More Practical Ways to Boost Happiness

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Small actions can have a big impact on your overall sense of well-being. Here are 10 practical steps for boosting happiness you can make part of your routines.