Project: Eudaimonic Game Experiences and Elevation among Adolescents


  • Rowan Daneels (principal researcher)
  • Heidi Vandebosch & Michel Walrave (supervisors)

Period: 2017-2023 (PhD project as mandate assistant)

Short description

Recent research within the field of media psychology shows that media entertainment, besides providing fun and enjoyment, can also induce eudaimonic experiences such as feeling emotionally moved, reflecting about oneself or feeling elevation (i.e., heartwarming and uplifting feelings when seeing morally good deeds). While current studies primarily focus on traditional media (such as movies) and adults, this PhD project aims to study eudaimonic game experiences amongst adolescents. The study of this topic is relevant for several reasons: (a) playing games is very popular among this age group; (b) games are increasingly providing players with emotional rich stories, characters, and other aspects; (c) eudaimonic experiences may fulfill key needs of adolescents’ well-being (e.g., identity formation & peer relations); and (d) these experiences may be beneficial for adolescents’ well-being, prosocial attitudes/behavior, and their overall development.

This PhD project intends to study this topic with a multi-method approach: performing both qualitative (focus groups, in-depth interviews, game content analysis) and quantitative research (surveys, experiments) to come to a clearer picture of the potential of eudaimonic experiences among digital games and adolescents.

Key publications

Daneels, R., Vandebosch, H., & Walrave, M. (2020). "Just for Fun?": An exploration of digital games’ potential for eudaimonic media experiences among Flemish adolescents. Journal of Children and Media. Doi: 10.1080/17482798.2020.1727934