Is it More Fun Competing as a Part of a Team?

Many people reading this must have experienced playing a competitive game or sport and either having fun or having a bad time playing it. Most likely having fun as you win and having a bad time as you lose. In the article “Competitive Video Game Play: An Investigation of Identification and Competition” by Robert P. Griffiths et al., they do an experiment to see the correlation between identification of yourself or the enemy teams, and the response to the outcome of a soccer video game.

The results of this research support the idea of team spirit. In the paper, they have stated that in the beginning that positive attitudes encourage athletes to have better performance. The results of this paper stated how winning while identifying yourself as a part of a member of the team, it gave you more pleasure and less state hostility (such as anger and frustration) than winning as a random member in a random team. Thus winning once as a team can further strengthen the team allowing the team to win again in the game or competition. However, the results also show that losing as a member of a team resulted in higher hostility levels than losing as a random member in a random team. The result of the paper also suggested that identifying the opponent as a rival instead of a random opponent causes winning to be more pleasurable. However again, losing against a rival resulted in higher hostility levels than losing to a random opponent.

Taking an example from alicewang0108’s post, she had stated that she became appointed to become the captain for her hockey team after the year they won in the championship. Being an important member of the team, winning may have been more pleasurable than when she was just a member. But then losing may have been more frustrating than she had ever experienced.

Looking at the results, it is as if identifying yourself as a member of a team is a gamble where you may feel more positive if you win, but feel more hostile and frustrated if you lose as a team. However, it is more commonly seen people in sports and games identifying themselves as a member of a team than just a random player. Though losing as a member of a team may be more frustrating, the members may enjoy the process rather than just the results.

In this research, the data only supported enjoyment and hostility levels due to the results of the competition only. However, I believe there should be a correlation between identification of oneself and the process of the game or sports. For example, whether you win or lose, I think playing as a member of your team or a team you like is more enjoying and fun than playing in a random team you don’t know or don’t care. Further research on this should be done as this concept can be applied to other academic disciplines than the correlation of identification and how people perceive winning and losing. For example in business, it’d be better to know if identification can motivate people to compete better (assuming positive attitudes encourage people to have better performance) than knowing that people will be more joyful winning against a rival company as a member of their company.

Image Credit:


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s