Video game live-streaming platforms are widely used by gamers. However, the excessive use of such services has rarely been examined. Although psychosocial well-being and motivations for use have been demonstrated to play major roles in online addiction, understanding the moderating mechanism of these two factors is warranted. Video game live-streaming platforms are an ideal context for studying the moderating role of both informational and escapism motivations, because viewers on such platforms can learn gaming strategies or escape from the reality.
This study collected survey data from 508 users of the highly popular game-streaming service Twitch. The sample was divided into two groups based on the respondents’ use motivations. Regression models with interaction terms were fitted, followed by a simple slope test, to verify the hypotheses.
For the escapism-oriented group, a moderating effect of escapism on the relationship between loneliness and negative outcomes was found; the relationship was positive for low and moderate levels of escapism, but it was non-significant for individuals with high levels of escapism. For the information-oriented group, information seeking was observed to exert a moderating effect on the relationship between stress and negative outcomes; the relationship was negative for low and moderate levels of information seeking, but it was non-significant for individuals demonstrating high levels of information seeking.