In this case study analysis, we explored the motives for playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball (SOMB), a baseball simulation played as a board game or online, from the perspective of the uses-and-gratifications theory. In phase I of the study, SOMB manager narratives (N = 50) were analyzed for motive statements. In phase II, an online survey asked SOMB managers (N = 222) to respond to motive items as well as four measures of Major League Baseball (MLB) and SOMB identification. Overall, eight motives for playing SOMB emerged from the 64-item pool of motive items. These eight motives were nostalgia, knowledge acquisition, social bonding, enjoyment, vicarious achievement, game aesthetics, convenience, and escape. Our findings suggest these motives predicted measures of MLB and SOMB identification in significantly different ways. Theoretical implications, future research, limitations, and discussion questions are presented in this analysis.
Spinda is with the Dept. of Organizational Communication at Murray State University, Murray, KY. Wann is with the Dept. of Psychology at Murray State University, Murray, KY. Sollitto is a doctoral student with the Dept. of Communication Studies at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.