Date of Award

August 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Public Relations


Dennis F. Kinsey


dating simulator, parasocial relationships, uses and gratifications, video games

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This study tests Chinese female gamers develop parasocial relationships with game characters and explore their motivations for playing a popular Chinese dating game – Mr Love: Queen’s Choice. This thesis contains the parasocial relationships theory, uses and gratifications theory, and reviewing the development of female-oriented dating simulators, which is a type of video game with dating and romantic development relationships as the primary purpose. A survey in China with a sample size of 290 participants were recruited to test the research questions and hypotheses, and 10 people were recruited to pre-test the survey questions. This study found that game exposures related to parasocial relationships with game characters. The study also identified three motivators that influence people to play female-oriented dating simulators: gratification, social interactions, and escapism. These key findings provide direction for future academic research and game developers on the female-oriented video games.

This research is able to provide a better understanding of how two dimensions – Chinese gamers’ emotional attachment (parasocial relationships) with male game characters and three motivations (gratification, social interactions, and escapism) – influence the dating video game playing, an new insight has not been examined previously in the previous game genre literature.


Open Access



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