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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Avatar creation in online virtual worlds: A uses and gratifications perspective
by Lin, Hsin, M.A., State University of New York at Buffalo, 2013, 67; 1534529
Abstract (Summary)

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.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wang, Hua
Commitee: Rintamaki, Lance
School: State University of New York at Buffalo
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 51/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication
Keywords: Avatar, Customization, Motivation, Online virtual worlds, Uses and gratifications
Publication Number: 1534529
ISBN: 978-1-267-94629-4
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