Psychology of the game and game content of other activities


  • Viktor Moskalets Doctor of Psychological Sciences, Professor, Head of the General and Clinical Psychology Department of Prykarpatskiy National University named after Vasyl Stefanyk, Ivano-Frankivsk.



subject, game, game activity, motivation of game activity, pretended situations, game content of activity, game educational-developmental means


The essential psychological properties of any activity are in its motivation and, consequently, in the goals that direct the subject to it as to a means of achieving them. The core of game activity motivation (game) are positively colored emotional experiences that actually arise in a person (consolation from excitement, spiritual uplift, etc.). Acquisition and use of material goods and / or social benefits do not appear to be its defining motives. And the game does not belong to the future or the past, but only to the present – to its very own course “here and now”. However, such motivational foundation is inherent not only to the game, but also to some other activities. The so-called game means used by other activities are divided into two types – educational-developmental (training, role, business, etc.) and psycho-correctional. In a subject who seeks to use such means effectively should dominate a motivation that corresponds to their purpose. Differentia specifiс of game activity is a creation of purely game pretended situations. Namely, this property is the predicate-discourse basis of the denotation of the term “game”. It is from “pretendness” that those connotative meanings of it and other associations are formed, which create definitive relativism in the semantic field of game activity. A notable condition of the played situations are the rules that provide the game order, while deviations from this order spoil and devalue the game. Like taboos and imperatives of all forms of regulation, the rules of the game do not allow and require self-restraint, which does not stimulate positively colored emotional reactions, because they limit the freedom of action. However, the subject accepts these rules voluntarily and gladly follows them, experiencing “courage” and demonstrating his mental and physical abilities (intelligence, agility, etc.), especially when his game impresses with skill, beauty, and admiration. It is noted that dizzying and amusing situations are essentially not games, but actually entertainment. It is claimed that the game itself and the game content of other activities contain a very noticeable developmental-educational potential, contributing to the successful mastering knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies by a person. First of all, we talk about such teaching methods as business and role-playing games, military training maneuvers, the specialists’ activity in special conditions. At the same time, game psycho-correctional methods, captivating each participant with their game content are designed to help him get rid of the consequences of mental traumas he suffered in life, or “slow down” in his psyche positive, but depressed, inhibited, properties. Therefore, the consolation, the pleasure of such self-purification is the psychological filling of the game content of these techniques. In addition, it is proved that the game develops aesthetic sensitivity – the ability to perceive beauty and enjoy it through the mediation of system, order, harmony and other aesthetic properties. Thus, the game is not only the absence of internal coercion, but also freedom of spirit, the release of mental energy. For example, the subject is immersed into virtual freedom of spirit both during creation and in the situation of perception of art, which pleases and attracts him by this very process. Anyway, a person is amused (“encouraged”) by his living spirit, the ability of his spirituality in empathic responses to artistic images. This basic content of motivation of artistic-aesthetic activity is semantically related to the game motivation. It is argued that the game and religion have similar properties: pretended situations, obligatory conditionalities, positive emotional coloring of the action process. However, this assimilation is the result of a purely theoretical understanding, while the full picture of the existence of the game is much more complex.


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How to Cite

Moskalets, Viktor. “Psychology of the Game and Game Content of Other Activities”. Psyhology & Society, no. 2, Jan. 2021, pp. 71-88,