Virtual worlds are emerging in importance as more multinational firms are investing heavily in these emerging communities. Although much excitement has been built up around the idea of virtual worlds, a gap exists between those who sign up and those who engage in the virtual world. Our analysis of the gap between those who initiate an action and have signed up to join a virtual world and those who follow through and ultimately engage the community on a regular basis derives from a lack of adoption. Through the use of a subject matter expert study, we identified 35 factors to explain adoption, which then explain through the use of seven psychological theories. After discussing and integrating these seven factors, we test our model through a test of 223 new users of Second Life. The results from our empirical test of these seven theories are presented, and we conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of understanding virtual world adoption.
Schwarz, Andrew; Wiley-Patton, Sonja; Schwarz, Colleen; Perez-Mira, Begona; and Jung, Yoonhyuk, "An Investigation in to Virtual World Adoption" (2009). MG 2009 Proceedings. 18.