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Tourism, migration and the exodus to virtual worlds: Place attachment in massively multiplayer online gamers

Coulson, M; Oskis, A; Spencer, R; Gould, R; (2019) Tourism, migration and the exodus to virtual worlds: Place attachment in massively multiplayer online gamers. Psychology of Popular Media Culture 10.1037/ppm0000244. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Place attachment to both physical and virtual places was investigated in an online survey of massively multiplayer online gamers. Participants (N=740) completed a place attachment inventory once for the place in the physical world which they considered home, and once for a place in a virtual world they felt attached to. In addition, measures of personality, gaming motivation, life satisfaction, attachment style, and identification with online avatars were taken. Results suggested that place identity, place uniqueness, and place social bonding were higher for physical places than for virtual places, but that place affect was higher for virtual places. A small number of participants (N=55, 7%) identified virtual ‘homes’, which participants felt were more special and which they identified more strongly with than other virtual places, and that were as unique and associated with an equal sense of belonging to physical homes. Results are interpreted through the lens of migration theory, and recommendations made for future research into digital domiciles and migration.

Type: Article
Title: Tourism, migration and the exodus to virtual worlds: Place attachment in massively multiplayer online gamers
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/ppm0000244
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000244
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Place attachment; Migration; Online and offline; Virtual home.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072707
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