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Description: Recent years have seen intense research, media and policy debate on whether the amount of time spent playing video games (“playtime”) affects players’ wellbeing. Research on this question has used easy-to-obtain but demonstrably unreliable self-report measures of playtime and cross-sectional designs, or secured hard-to-obtain industry data on objectively tracked playtime of individual games, but not people’s total playtime across games. Thus, we still lack understanding of whether wellbeing affects playtime, playtime affects wellbeing, both, or neither. To track people’s approximate total playtime across games, we developed a method to log playtime across the Xbox platform. With a 14-week, 6-wave panel study (n = 400) on Xbox-predominant video game players using multilevel models, we will investigate within-person temporal relations between objectively-measured playtime and wellbeing. We hypothesize no practically significant positive or negative effects, defined as 1 hour of daily playtime leading to a .06 scale point change in wellbeing on a 5-pt scale or a 1-point change in wellbeing leading to a 13% change in playtime. We useing equivalence tests to assess whether effects larger than these can be rejected.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International


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