Purchasing virtual products and services in virtual worlds is a rapidly growing form of online consumer behavior, especially among the digital natives. The paper examines why teens spend real money in virtual goods and services. We empirically investigate the reasons for virtual purchasing behavior in world‟s most popular social virtual world, Habbo Hotel. Using content analysis, we classify the reasons for purchasing into four higher order gratifications, namely elevated experience, hedonic and social factors as well as functional activities. The results demonstrate that virtual purchasing is a vehicle for enhancing and customizing the valued aspects in the user experience.
Mäntymäki, Matti and Salo, Jari, "Digital Natives’ Purchasing Behavior in Habbo Hotel" (2012). BLED 2012 Proceedings. 20.