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Title: An empirical investigation of the consumption process in 3D virtual worlds
Author: Tran, Minh Quang
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 5400
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2011
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Virtual worlds are 3D online persistent multi-user environments where users interact through avatars. Virtual worlds are used for many activities including gaming, education, socialising and consumer-related activities. The focus of the investigation in this dissertation is on consumers' perceptions of the consumption process in Second Life, a virtual world. The consumption process in Second Life involves the acquisition, purchase and appropriation of virtual products for avatars. In this research project, research methods such as phenomenological interviews, laddering interviews and structured interviews were used to elicit consumers' perceptions of the consumption process in Second Life. The interviews were analysed by applying descriptive-phenomenology, thematic analysis and means-end chain analysis. The contribution of this research project has been an empirically-grounded understanding of consumers' perceptions of the consumption process in Second Life, including an understanding of virtual world affordances and consumers' needs during the consumption process. The theoretical contributions of this research project have been (1) phenomenological descriptions of the consumption process, (2) an analysis of virtual world affordances, such as 3D storefronts, teleportation, presence of others and access to websites, and (3) an understanding of how virtual world affordances address consumers' needs during the consumption process. Further, the practical contribution of this research has been the development of design guidelines for designers, developers and businesses: these guidelines can be applied to design and evaluate e-commerce environments that share similar features and affordances with Second Life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available