Module 2 - Motivation: Why We Play


Module 2 - Motivation: Why We Play

Last activity on April 12, 2024

The CARED Model

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plan and implement strategies, using health resources, to enhance their own and others’ health, safety, relationships and wellbeing


proposing constructive, healthy and manageable actions when using tools and digital environments to promote self management and finding fulfillment, on and off screen

Learning Intention:

To explore the CARED model to give a broader understanding of human motivation in the context of how and why people play video games.


Watch the CARED model video as an overview for motivation.

  1. Materials:
    • GameAware workbook
    • Pen or pencil
  2. Students write down their 3 main games
  3. The platform they play on (PC, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, Mobile, VR)
  4. How many days per week they play on average
  5. How many hours per week they play on average
    • If students play absolutely no games and can’t answer this, they can choose their favourite hobby instead. Since we are talking about intrinsic motivation, there is a link between why someone would play footy and why they would play an esport as an example.

Self Determination Theory – Your 3 Buckets

These are 3 of our intrinsic core drivers

C – Competence

The need for improvement, growth and mastery over skills 

A – Autonomy

The need for self direction, and control over your choices

R – Relatedness

The need for community, belonging and connection to others 

E – Escape

When gaming becomes a coping tool to escape from the stress of real life, gamers may believe that it becomes the solution to their problem, but it’s only a distraction that can become a new problem. Consistent escape is the motivation that contains the most risk factors.

D – Design

Design mechanics of the game that focus on extrinsic motivators and can influence us to play compulsively, rather than engage in a healthier way.  We often see this with gamers who are fixated on their game progress or rewards, and this can keep them engaged in a bit of a loop… where they are repeating nearly the same behaviour over and over again, chasing a reward that is desirable, but not always fulfilling. This use of game mechanics raises interesting conversations around ethics in design.

We will break down the CARED Model over the next couple of lessons, and even though the focus is on gaming, you’ll find a common thread to much of the fun tech you’ve got in your life, including social media in many ways.

This lesson is a preview

3 Lessons