Determinants of friendship in social networking virtual worlds

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)22_Publication in policy or professional journal

3 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Thomas Chesney
  • Swee-Hoon Chuah
  • Wendy Hui
  • Robert Hoffmann
  • Jeremy Larner

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number73
Pages (from-to)1397-1416
Journal / PublicationCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
Volume34
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of friendship between two users in a virtual world who are unaware of each other's real identities. Drawing on theories of homophily, heterophily and propinquity, three virtual world behaviours are analysed: avatar appearance, avatar location, and avatar communication. Data are collected on 179 participants interacting in a novel virtual world. The main results show that: (1) avatars did not tend to form friendships with avatars that are similar in appearance to themselves but did tend to form friendships with avatars that are dressed differently from themselves; (2) in terms of location, the closer an avatar stands to other avatars, the more likely the avatar is to receive a friend invitation; and (3) the fewer words an avatar uses in communication, the more likely the avatar is to receive a friend invitation. This paper contributes to theories of virtual world interaction and to using virtual worlds as a data collection platform. © 2014 by the Association for Information Systems.

Research Area(s)

  • Assortativity, Avatar, Online community, Server log, Telemetry

Citation Format(s)

Determinants of friendship in social networking virtual worlds. / Chesney, Thomas; Chuah, Swee-Hoon; Hui, Wendy; Hoffmann, Robert; Larner, Jeremy.

In: Communications of the Association for Information Systems, Vol. 34, No. 1, 73, 2014, p. 1397-1416.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)22_Publication in policy or professional journal