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I am you, you are me: game character congruence with the ideal self

Dong Woo Ko (College of Business, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea)
Jihye Park (College of Business, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, Korea)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 22 October 2020

Issue publication date: 10 March 2021

Downloads
314

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine the effects of congruence between the ideal self-image of a game player and the game character on identification and interaction with the game character, perceived game power and performance, character attachment and willingness to spend money on the game character.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 347 online game players participated in an online survey posted via the nationwide crowdsourcing web service Mechanical Turk in the US. A structural equation modelling was conducted using a maximum-likelihood estimation procedure to test the relationships among the variables.

Findings

The results revealed a significant positive impact of congruence between a game character and the ideal self-image of a game player on identification and interaction with the game character, perceived game power, game performance, attachment to the game character and willingness to spend money on the game character.

Originality/value

Although significant research has been conducted in the area of online gaming, limited attention has been given to the strategic game content that stimulates a player's intention to purchase game items. Due to the challenges in sales growth in the game industry caused by business model shifts from a subscription-based model to a free-to-play one, it is important for marketing practitioners to motivate game players to continue playing the game and purchase game items. The results of this study provide valuable strategic insights to overcome the limitations of existing marketing strategies in the online game business.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund of 2020.

Citation

Ko, D.W. and Park, J. (2021), "I am you, you are me: game character congruence with the ideal self", Internet Research, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 613-634. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-05-2020-0294

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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