Recovery from work by playing video games

KOÇAK Ö. E., Gorgievski M., Bakker A. B.

Applied Psychology, vol.73, no.3, pp.1331-1360, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 73 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/apps.12519
  • Journal Name: Applied Psychology
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, Periodicals Index Online, ABI/INFORM, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CINAHL, Educational research abstracts (ERA), MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1331-1360
  • Keywords: psychological detachment, recovery, video game, vigormastery
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Integrating the dualistic model of passion in the recovery literature, the present study investigates how playing video games after work hours can facilitate recovery from work stress. We predicted that passion for gaming would relate to gaming more hours in the evening. Next, we hypothesized that playing video games in the evening would relate to (a) feeling recovered the next morning through psychological detachment and (b) feeling vigorous the next morning through mastery experiences while gaming. We further hypothesized that harmonious passion would strengthen, and obsessive passion would weaken the links between gaming hours and (a) psychological detachment and (b) mastery. In total, 65 employees filled in short questionnaires in the mornings and evenings of at least five workdays (total n = 502). Results of multilevel hierarchical regression analyses supported the proposed mediation model, indicating that playing video games indeed helps replenish energy resources during leisure time. Findings additionally showed that gaming also predicted feeling recovered in the morning through mastery experiences. Players with a harmonious passion may benefit more from playing video games; harmonious (but not obsessive) passion strengthened the relationship between gaming and mastery experiences.