Virtual Worlds, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality: Differences in Purchase Intentions Based on Types, Users, and Sex

angie marie cox, Indira Guzman, Sikha Bagui, Kenneth Cromer


This paper discusses the disparity between two Virtual World (VW) users groups: Social and Game-oriented users. It highlights the difference between the distinct players' behaviors and their purchase intentions in VWs. It then examines the differences in the sexes. The findings are applied to possible conditions in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). This paper sheds light on consumers’ behaviors and markets in VWs, AR and VR to increase understanding of a popular pastime and an activity that has an abundance of practical applications. The backbone of the study comes from the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and Flow Theory to explain how the different VW user attributes, such as skill and challenge, play a role in VW purchase intentions. This paper uses a data sample and modified model from Cox (2016) to find significant sex differences between the Social-oriented users and Game-oriented users, by using bootstrapping and Partial Least Squares (PLS), Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), and multi-group analysis. Female Game-oriented users were found to have a stronger relationship between their challenge levels to their VW shopping subjective norms (SN) than male Game-oriented users, while Social-oriented users displayed no significant variances. This means VW, AR and VR game designers, businesses, and researchers should recognize differences in the groups, to design and strategize ways to maximize female Game-oriented players' challenge level in order to flourish VW SN and overall lead to increased sales.


Theory of Reasoned Action; Flow Theory; Virtual Worlds; Consumer Behavior; mented Reality; Virtual Reality; Gender; Social oriented users; Game oriented users

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