Purpose: Avatars are known to be influential in gaming communication. However, little is known about how avatar attractiveness and customization impact online gamers’ flow, i.e., the experience of total concentration with intrinsic enjoyment and loyalty. Grounded in social identity and flow theories, the purpose of this paper is to construct a model to explain how avatar attractiveness and customization can impact online gamers’ flow and loyalty. Design/methodology/approach: The responses of 1,944 online gamers are collected. Structural equation modeling is used for analyses. Findings: The analytical results indicate that avatar attractiveness and customization are positively related to avatar identification, which is positively related to flow, and then to online gamer loyalty. In addition, avatar identification and flow are important process variables in the above relations. Originality/value: This study is novel in being the first attempt to apply social identity and flow theories to explain how avatar attractiveness and customization contribute to online gamers’ flow and loyalty.
- Customer loyalty
- Electronic commerce
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Economics and Econometrics