News, research and discussion on virtual goods, currencies and economies globally.

Virtual item purchase behavior in virtual worlds: an exploratory investigation


TitleVirtual item purchase behavior in virtual worlds: an exploratory investigation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsGuo, Y., & Barnes S.
JournalElectronic Commerce Research
Volume9
Issue1-2
Pagination77 - 96
Date Published2009
Keywordsfocus groups, model, qualitative study, transactions, Virtual world
Abstract

Virtual worlds, such as Second Life, World of Warcraft and Everquest, have demonstrated huge economic potential. In such virtual worlds, virtual items are bought and sold between individuals for real money. However, little empirical research has been conducted into players’ purchase behavior in virtual worlds. To help us gain a better understanding of factors influencing purchase behavior in virtual worlds, we embarked on an exploratory study. Four focus groups were conducted with 24 participants, selected according to demographic and experiential characteristics. Preliminary empirical evidence suggests that factors including effort expectancy, character competency, the quality of the virtual world system, social influence, virtual item resources, personal real resources, performance expectancy, and self-actualization are important for predicting virtual item purchase behavior in virtual worlds. The results showed that virtual item purchase behavior in virtual worlds has considerable variability involving a range of factors at different stages.

URLhttp://www.springerlink.com/content/g8nu8061844glp44/?p=6934201f37bf4964a60117d6578ab997&pi=4