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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Xuexin Xu, Xiaodong Yang, Junhua Lu, Ji Lan, Tai-Quan Peng, Yingcai Wu and Wei Chen

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) create quasi-real social systems in which players can interact with one another, and quasi-real economic systems…

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1013

Abstract

Purpose

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) create quasi-real social systems in which players can interact with one another, and quasi-real economic systems where players can consume and trade in-game items with virtual currency. The in-game currency price, an important indicator of a virtual economy, is highly contingent on players’ behavioral interaction in MMORPGs. The purpose of this paper is to adopt a network perspective to examine how topological characteristics of social networks in an MMORPG, namely, network externalities, density, and closure, would exert impacts on the in-game currency price.

Design/methodology/approach

Players’ behavioral data were collected from a popular MMORPG in China on a weekly basis for 52 weeks. With a time series analytical approach, the empirical model for the price function of in-game currency was estimated with vector autoregression.

Findings

The results show that the number of core avatars and network density are positively associated with in-game currency price, while network closure has a negative effect on in-game currency price. However, in-game currency price is found to have no significant relationship with the trade volume of the currency.

Originality/value

This study fills in an important research gap by investigating factors influencing the in-game currency price of MMORPGs from a network perspective, which contributes to the existing literature of network effects and advances our understanding about how players’ interaction will influence the dynamics of a virtual economy. The findings could offer useful insights for online game companies to better understand their players’ social interaction and consumption behavior.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Lun Zhang and Tai-Quan Peng

The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical assessment of the diffusion of advertising messages on microblogging sites. The diffusion properties of advertising…

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1579

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical assessment of the diffusion of advertising messages on microblogging sites. The diffusion properties of advertising messages are quantified based on the following three aspects: diffusion breadth, depth, and speed. Furthermore, this study examines the influence of message- and advertiser-level factors on the diffusion of advertising messages.

Design/methodology/approach

The study data comprises 20,000 advertising messages that are randomly drawn from a popular microblogging web site in China. Five message-level factors and four advertiser-level factors are constructed based on the information retrieved from the microblogging web site. Generalized linear modeling is adopted to examine the effects of such factors on the diffusion properties of advertising messages.

Findings

The positive driving forces underlying the diffusion of advertising messages on microblogging sites include message length, the advertisers’ in-degrees, and their reputation. The diffusion of advertising messages is hampered by typicality, affectivity, the completeness of the information of the advertising messages, and advertisers’ out-degrees.

Practical implications

To achieve optimal diffusion on microblogging sites, advertisers should select the appropriate time windows for releasing advertising messages. Moreover, advertisers should actively increase the number of fans, use less typical and less emotional words in advertising messages, and eliminate unnecessary URLs in such messages.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the diffusion theory by identifying the mixed effects of different information attributes on the diffusion of advertising messages on microblogging sites, and examining the roles of advertisers’ structural characteristics in the diffusion of advertising messages. Furthermore, the results illustrate how consumers cope with the advertisers’ sales presentations on microblogging sites.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Jie Qin and Tai-Quan Peng

Queries as a pioneering measure of public attention on various social issues have elicited considerable scholarly attention. The purpose of this paper is to address two…

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1090

Abstract

Purpose

Queries as a pioneering measure of public attention on various social issues have elicited considerable scholarly attention. The purpose of this paper is to address two fundamental questions, as follows: first, how do we identify niche queries that internet users search for on specific social issues?; and second, what are the measurement properties of queries data in gauging public attention on social issues?

Design/methodology/approach

The present study uses public attention on environmental issues in the USA as the empirical setting of research. An iterative framework is developed to identify niche queries to measure public attention on environmental issues. The measurement properties of queries data are assessed by comparing the dynamics of public attention on environmental issues captured by queries data with that measured by the “most important problem” (MIP) question in Gallup opinion polls.

Findings

A list of 39 niche queries that internet users search for on environmental issues is identified. The dynamics of public attention on environmental issues determined by the search trends of these 39 queries is found to positively correlate with that measured by Gallup MIP polls, whereas both dynamics can forecast each other well in a 12-month time frame.

Originality/value

The findings of the study possess methodological and practical implications. The study shows that queries data are complementary to, rather than substitutes of, public opinion polls in measuring public attention on environmental issues. The iterative framework developed in the study can be applied in future studies to help researchers identify valid queries to measure public attention on other social issues, as it can minimize researchers’ subjective biases in selecting search queries. Policymakers and environmentalists can utilize our approach to monitor the status of public attention on environmental issues and implement campaigns to mobilize favorable public opinion when the decline of public attention is predicted by the trends of web search queries.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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