What's 'Awe' The Hype? Motivations to Share Video Game Information
Blankenbeckler, Logan Bryan
- Publisher: Virginia Tech
motivation | sharing | awe | content characteristics | video games
Over the past few decades, video games have become a popular avenue for dissemination of information and publicity about video games is word-of-mouth sharing. Thus, it is imperative for researchers to examine the social, and individual processes that guide this behavior.
Focusing on prerelease sharing behavior specifically, this pair of studies aimed to identify predictors and dimensions of video game information sharing, and explore the impact content characteristics have on individuals' likelihood to share game information either online or to friends. A pretest survey (n = 577) investigated the prominence word-of-mouth communication has on video game information sharing amongst college students, finding it to be the most common method of sharing and obtaining game information. The main experiment (n = 227) examined participants' intent to share information after being exposed to a video game trailer manipulated to emphasize variations of core video game characteristics (control, narrative and mechanics) and emotional appeals (control, awe and hedonic). There were no findings suggesting the manipulations had a significant effect on participants' intent to share; however, those who reported first-person shooters as their favorite genre reported significantly more intent to share. Conceptualized through Social Exchange Theory and Social Identity Theory; the experiment also explored motivations to share based on exchange value, and gamer identity. Implications for our understanding of motivations to share game information based on social networks and content characteristics are discussed.