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Why do people play mobile social games? An examination of network externalities and of uses and gratifications

Wei Pei-Shan (Department of Information Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan)
Lu Hsi-Peng (Department of Information Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Publication date: 27 May 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that influence people to play socially interactive games on mobile devices. Based on network externalities and theory of uses and gratifications (U&G), it seeks to provide direction for further academic research on this timely topic.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on 237 valid responses collected from online questionnaires, structural equation modeling technology was employed to examine the research model.

Findings

The results reveal that both network externalities and individual gratifications significantly influence the intention to play social games on mobile devices. Time flexibility, however, which is one of the mobile device features, appears to contribute relatively little to the intention to play mobile social games.

Originality/value

This research successfully applies a combination of network externalities theory and U&G theory to investigate the antecedents of players’ intentions to play mobile social games. This study is able to provide a better understanding of how two dimensions – perceived number of users/peers and individual gratification – influence mobile game playing, an insight that has not been examined previously in the mobile apps literature.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the editor and the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback on this paper.

Citation

Wei, P.-S. and Lu, H.-P. (2014), "Why do people play mobile social games? An examination of network externalities and of uses and gratifications", Internet Research, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 313-331. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-04-2013-0082

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited