Sure, I like football and like to watch a good game especially when the Chargers beat the Broncos but for the past 3 years I have listened, watched and learned as my boyfriend plays Fantasy Football. Every Friday afternoon he sits down in front of the computer and makes his picks for the weekend games in hope of choosing the players who will score the most points allowing him to win his fantasy game.
Until taking this class I never really understood the motivation and desire to participate in Fantasy Football. Yes, you can win money at the end of the season that can motivate many. But what else could drive over 72,000,000 people according to Answers.com to play Fantasy Football each season?
In my effort to find out why, I asked my boyfriend over dinner why he plays. He smiled and replied, “To beat my friends. There is also a chance to win money and I can use my football knowledge.” His response was very interesting to me and I found myself thinking about our class readings about motivation in games and why we choose to play or not to play certain games.
Using the concepts developed by Maslow: Fantasy Football could very well be the perfect example of his model of motivation. It includes elements of safety, belonging, and self esteem (levels 3-5). It does this in a number of ways. Safety can motivate a player by providing an opportunity to win money and thus use that money to meet specific life needs. Belonging can motivate as it provides the player with not only a feeling of belonging among their small group of friends but also gives player’s a topic to discuss with 72,000,000 of their closest friends. Self-esteem may also motivate by providing an opportunity for recognition, respect, achievement and mastery.
Fantasy Football is also a multi-player game with players competing against each other every week that can be a motivating factor since it allows players to feed their competitive urges. It also can motivate players by allowing them to meet up with their friends online in what we might call the ultimate Fantasy. After all isn’t it called Fantasy Football?