Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Scott Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kelli Burns, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.


motivation, experiences of players, mediated effects


Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) are gaining popularity and are being used widely in China. The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between the motivation and the experience of MMORPG players, and the effects of playing MMORPG through an extensive online survey of more than 300 Chinese participants (n = 305). Specifically, the findings support the complex relationship between variables, including the direct effects on motivation and flow, on the time the players invest in MMORPG games, and the mediated effects on motivations through flow. In addition to the importance of direct and indirect effects on the frequency of playing, the causal relationship between the two variables is also examined. This has resulted in several important outcomes, including (1) the overwhelming importance of achievement as a motivator for MMORPG players, and (2), there is a lack of motivation for escapism and the experience of the elements of the game by players, (3) the importance of achievement and relationship as the factors of motivation when mediated by flow, (4) the importance of the flow mechanism (challenge, skill, and play) for the direct effects of MMORPG play-behaviors, and (5) the effects of intricate connections between the variables on MMORPG player’s habits.