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Young People Purchasing Virtual Goods in Virtual Worlds: The Role of User Experience and Social Context

Abstract : Millions of young people spend real money on virtual goods such as avatars or in-world currency. Yet, limited empirical research has examined their shopping behaviour in virtual worlds. This research delves into young consumers’ virtual goods purchasing behaviour and the relevance of social context and usage experience. We assert that virtual goods purchasing behaviour is inseparable of the online platform in which it is taking place. We employ the concept of cognitive absorption to capture the user experience and examine the social context with three variables, the size of one’s in-world network, trust in the other users of the online platform and social presence. We test our research model with data collected from 1,225 virtual world users and use PLS in the analysis. The results show that virtual goods purchasing behaviour is predicted by cognitive absorption, perceived size of one’s in-world network as well as trust in the other users.
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Matti Mäntymäki, Jani Merikivi, A. Islam. Young People Purchasing Virtual Goods in Virtual Worlds: The Role of User Experience and Social Context. 13th Conference on e-Business, e-Services and e-Society (I3E), Nov 2014, Sanya, China. pp.303-314, ⟨10.1007/978-3-662-45526-5_28⟩. ⟨hal-01342160⟩

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