Background. Psychological characteristics of gamers (video games players) is an extremely relevant field of research today, because prevalence of gaming is wide and growing, covering all current generations (Avetisova, 2011; Bogacheva, Voiskunsky, 2014; Snodgrass et al., 2017).
Objective. The study reveals the explicit real-life motives in online gamers and the reasons why they choose certain leisure compared to other passtimes.
Design. The sample includes 10,916 Russian-speaking gamers from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other CIS countries. The main explicit motives in the real-life gamers are considered: motives of cognition and motives of achievements. The discriminant analysis method identified and described three groups of players: with motives of cognition and motives of achievements of a rational type, motives of cognition and motives of achievements of an indefinite type. A comparison was made between male gamers and male non-gamers according to the degree of explicit motives. High mean on the Likert scale are observed in non-gamers within motives associated with communication and interaction with other people (Wilcoxon test, p≤0.01) and in motives aimed at perception of beauty, significance and grandeur (Wilcoxon test, p≤0,001). The gamers have a higher assessment of situations related to the clarity of the tasks, and perform significantly less interest in situations within which they can influence something (Wilcoxon test, p≤0.01).
Research Results. A scale for assessing real-life motives is designed to estimate the empirically identified motives in gamers on multiple choice scales and then on a five-point Likert scale. There are three groups of gamers with different types of motivation have been identified and described, a comparison of the severity of these motives in male gamers and male non-gamers has been made.
Conclusion. Cognitive motives and motives of achievement for male gamers and male non-gamers were expressed in equally high figures, which may be due to the universality and significance of the values of knowledge and achievements in modern society. Perhaps computer games are the most available leisure to gamers that satisfy their needs for cognition and achievement. A further task is set to test these assumptions using other methods (for example, in-depth interviews).