Investigating the Moderating Effect of Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) Games on the Correlation Between Flow and Game Addiction: A Meta-Analysis


  • Mengyuan Li Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • Wendy Hui Singapore Institute of Technology
  • Torsten Reiners Curtin University, Perth, Australia



game addiction, flow, immersion, social interaction, massively multiplayer online games


The flow theory of addiction suggests that the psychological flow state and addiction are positively correlated. However, based on 23 empirical studies involving 6,772 subjects, our meta-analysis shows that this relationship is significantly weakened in massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. Our results suggest that game genre, which is often overlooked in existing theories, warrants more attention in future research on game addiction. For game developers, our results suggest that it is particularly important for non-MMO games to provide a good match between game challenge and player skill level, which is essential to the flow experience. As MMO games have been reported to be more addictive than non-MMO games, future research should also investigate the unique characteristics of MMO games that cause addiction in this game genre.


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How to Cite

Li, M., Hui, W., & Reiners, T. (2023). Investigating the Moderating Effect of Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) Games on the Correlation Between Flow and Game Addiction: A Meta-Analysis. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 27.



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