Psychological master form of computer games



The article presented the rationale and description of a universal classification model of computer games. The basis of its development was the principle of systematic and psychosemiotic approach that afforded considering both semantic and syntactic (formal) features of a game as factors mediating its effect on gamers. A computer game came under consideration as a system entity whose classification profile took shape following unique combination of thirty-four components that were interconnected in the manner of mutual cooperation. They combined into seven levels, two of which were: the game-play and setting — attributed to the fundamentals inherent to any game, while five were variable: the narrative, semantic, personal, communicative and ethic. Criteria to determine intensity of manifestation of the described components in a game that served as the basis for its expert evaluation, were presented. The results of investigation of «The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt» computer game were quoted. The study involved ten experts (8 men and 2 women) with a higher education and a great interactive gaming experience. The participants were made familiar with the classification algorithm of video games assessment and, in the process of complete ‘play-through’ of a game under consideration, categorized it into thirty-four components. Statistical processing of the data demonstrated high degree of consistency of the estimates: the value of α-Kronbach index amounted to 0.971. That afforded grounds to infer that the Master Form presented may serve as a reliable basis to analyze games and propose hypotheses about the nature of their effect on gamers.

General Information

Keywords: video game, computer game, video game analysis, video game structure, video game effect, gamers

Journal rubric: Methodological Tools

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Kyshtymova I.M., Timofeev S.B. Psychological master form of computer games. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2019. Vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 160–174. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2019100411. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Irina M. Kyshtymova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Professor of the Department of Psychology of Education and Personal Development, Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk, Russia, e-mail:

Semen B. Timofeev, Postgraduate, Irkutsk State University, Irkutsk, Russia, e-mail:



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