Title

The hedonic and utilitarian value of digital games at product category level

Abstract

Consumers’ product evaluation, choice, and use are driven by both utilitarian and hedonic

considerations. Digital games, that are typically considered to be a homogenous product

category, are often claimed to be high on hedonic value. However, there is a multitude of digital

games genres available. Differences in their appeal, gameplay, and purpose in practice indicate

that digital games vary significantly in their proposed outcome.

In this research paper, we present results from an observational survey study in which digital

games were investigated at subcategory level. We found differences in weights consumers place

on hedonic and utilitarian value at the product subcategory level, and also observed differences

between evaluations of experienced and inexperienced consumers. The results indicate that

subcategories act as a more assuring source of information than the general product category of

digital games. Furthermore, higher gaming experience may lead to more optimistic evaluation on

subcategories.

Rather than grouping digital games into one category and treating them all as hedonic products,

they should be discussed at their specific subcategory level, by researchers and practitioners,

alike.

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