The intent of this paper is to explore the implications of the social aspects enabled by virtual world technology on an individual’s intention to use the technology. We identify variables such as social awareness, social interaction, and social quality that may play an important role. We test our research model by means of a controlled laboratory experiment conducted in a virtual world, Second Life. The results show that perceived social interactions and social awareness positively influence the cognitive absorption that an individual feels when using virtual worlds. These are influenced by an individual’s social skills, and his/her perception of the social quality of the technology. Cognitive absorption in turn significantly predicts outcomes such as the satisfaction with, and the intention to return to the virtual world.
Goel, Lakshmi and Prokopec, Sonja, "The "Socialness" of Virtual Worlds" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 385.