Avatar creation in online virtual worlds: A uses and gratifications perspective
MetadataShow full item record
This study examined motivational dimensions underlying avatar creation in online virtual worlds (i.e., massively multiplayer online role-playing games and creativity-oriented virtual environments). The theory of uses and gratifications served as the groundwork to help the current study understand the needs of users that motivate them to create avatars in particular ways. In Study One, a survey was constructed, and the responses of open-ended questions from 92 online virtual world users were consolidated to an 18-item scale. In Study Two, an exploratory factor analysis was further conducted to finalize the dimensions of avatar creation motivations with a sample of 244 online virtual world users. Results showed that people create avatars in particular ways because of five types of motivations: utilization, external impact, self-expression, role-playing, and ideality. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed, as well as suggestions for future research.