Altruism or egoism – how do game features motivate cooperation? An investigation into user we-intention and I-intention

Marc Riar, Benedikt Morschheuser, Rüdiger Zarnekow, Juho Hamari

Tutkimustuotos: ArtikkeliScientificvertaisarvioitu

4 Lataukset (Pure)


Achieving cooperation between individuals is challenging and often driven by self-beneficial motives. On the other hand, people also seem capable of subordinating their personal interests and of engaging in cooperation for motives other than their own, i.e. out of altruistic impulses. One context in which both motivational facets can be observed is multiplayer online games. However, there is a lack of knowledge about how cooperation based on altruism and egoism develops in games, which also prevents us from transferring this knowledge as a form of gamification. In this study, we explore which game features are accountable for altruistic and egoistic sentiment, and how these distinctive demeanours induce cooperation in games, with the intent to also derive implications for gamification. We employ we-intention and I-intention theory and conduct a survey among players of the game Ingress (N = 206). Our findings imply that (1) cooperative game design can give rise to within-group altruism in form of enjoyment in helping others and cooperative goals, (2) altruism can lead to the formation of we-intentions, and (3) individualistic game features invoke I-intentions and self-centered motivations in games in the form of recognition-seeking. Theoretical and practical implications are provided for cooperative game and gamification design.

JulkaisuBehaviour and Information Technology
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaE-pub ahead of print - 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä


  • Jufo-taso 2

!!ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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