Journal of Virtual Worlds Research – second issue

The latest issue of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research has been released and this time consumer behaviour is the focus.

There’s eight research papers, of which five are peer-reviewed, plus there’s six ‘think pieces’ on related topics.

The full contents:

Peer Reviewed Research Papers

Consuming Code: Use-Value, Exchange-Value, and the Role of Virtual Goods in Second Life (Jennifer Martin)
Virtual World Affordances: Enhancing Brand Value (So Ra Park, Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah, David DeWester, Brenda Eschenbrenner, Sunran Jeon)
On the Relationship between My Avatar and Myself (Paul R Messinger, Xin Ge, Eleni Stroulia, Kelly Lyons, Kristen Smirnov, Michael Bone)
The Social Construction of Virtual Reality and the Stigmatized Identity of the Newbie (Robert E. Boostrom, Jr.)
The “New” Virtual Consumer: Exploring the Experiences of New Users (Lyle R Wetsch)

Research Papers

Ugly Duckling by Day, Super Model by Night: The Influence of Body Image on the Use of Virtual Worlds (Enrique Becerra, Mary Ann Stutts)
Symbolic and Experiential Consumption of Body in Virtual Worlds: from (Dis)Embodiment to Symembodiment (Handan Vicdan, Ebru Ulusoy)
Demographics of Virtual Worlds (Jeremiah Spence)

“Think pieces”

Surveillance, Consumers, and Virtual Worlds (Douglas R Dechow)
Second Life and Hyperreality (Michel Maffesoli)
Having But Not Holding: Consumerism & Commodification in Second Life (Lori Landay)
Metaverse: A New Dimension? (Yohan Launay, Nicolas Mas)
Virtual Worlds Research: Global X Local Agendas (Gilson Schwartz)
Real Virtual Worlds SOS (State of Standards) Q3-2008 (Yesha Sivan)

There’s some serious reading time in it all and if virtual goods, branding, avatar identification, new user experience or demographics are of interest, this is one must-read issue from a journal hitting the ground well and truly running. Well researched quantitative and qualitative studies will be key as virtual worlds expand in scope and popularity – this Journal deserves kudos as one of the pioneers of empirical observation of virtual worlds.

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