Understanding virtual world usage: A multipurpose model and empirical testing


This study reports an attempt to enhance our understanding of the reasons behind virtual world usage.

By providing a mixture of utilitarian and hedonic value, virtual worlds represent an emerging class of

multipurpose information systems (MPIS). Previous research seems to fall short in explaining MPIS

adoption, especially since key extrinsic and intrinsic motivators are not considered. Drawing upon IT

adoption research, motivation theory and the consumer behavior literature, this research extends

available works and provides insight into the influence and roles of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.

Hypotheses are postulated and tested using a sample of 1627 users of the virtual world Second Life.

The results confirm the majority of the hypotheses and support the comprehensive model. The findings

indicate instantaneous effects of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and highlight reinforcing effects of

intrinsic motivation. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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