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Love and Videogames: Negotiating Relationships with Cultural Ideals and Consumer Practices

Research in Consumer Behavior

ISBN: 978-1-78052-116-9, eISBN: 978-1-78052-117-6

Publication date: 7 November 2011


Purpose – In this chapter we consider how two apparently disconnected practices – one very human (loving relationships), another the apparently alienating outcome of consumer technology (videogame play) – may turn out to be linked in very intimate and perhaps surprising ways. In making this connection we hope to comment on how consumer practices may be understood in the context of dynamic human relationships and cultural ideals.

Methodology – We conducted 36 phenomenological interviews with adult videogame players in order to elicit everyday experiences of videogame play in the context of the individual's lifeworld. This chapter deals with aspects of data that explore relationships with partners and children.

Findings – We illustrate that consumer practices, ideals, and even couples are not stable things, but are subject to routine reconfiguration throughout life. We suggest the possibility of a triadic theory of human relationships that consists of the people themselves, their consumer practices, and ideas about what love means.

Originality/value of paper – Previous questions about the value of videogame consumption have tended to ask about violence or the normalcy of how we might spend our time. In this chapter we have attempted to shift the focus to questions about human relationships and how they might be enacted with consumer technologies. By understanding the interactions between human actors, their consumer practices and their ideals we are able to comment on existing critiques and celebrations of the impact of consumer culture on human relationships.



Molesworth, M., Jenkins, R. and Eccles, S. (2011), "Love and Videogames: Negotiating Relationships with Cultural Ideals and Consumer Practices", Belk, R.W., Grayson, K., Muñiz, A.M. and Jensen Schau, H. (Ed.) Research in Consumer Behavior (Research in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 145-162.



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