Does Self-Congruity Increase Game Usage and Purchase? by Robert Davis and Bodo Lang (July, 2012)

Does Self-Congruity Increase Game Usage and Purchase?

Robert Davis: Associate Professor: Faculty of Creative Industries and Business, rdavis@unitec.ac.nz, Phone: ++ (649) 815 4321, Postal Address: Unitec Institute of Technology, Department of Management and Marketing, Private Bag 92025, Auckland, New Zealand.

Bodo Lang: Senior Lecturer: Department of Marketing, b.lang@auckland.ac.nz, Postal Address: University of Auckland Business School, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to measure the empirical relationship between self-congruity and game usage and purchase. This is important because it highlights that games affect self concept and the symbolic value that can be obtained from the game. We implement this study across 4 game types.

Design/methodology/approach: We surveyed 493 consumers and conducted confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling across four game groups to model this same relationship.

Findings: We found that self-congruity to be positively related to game usage and purchase.

Practical implications: Game development for consumers online, on wireless devices and on consoles should place greater emphasis on the practical implications of self-congruity. Games impact self concept through self-congruity. So, t is important that marketers understand the potential harm and positive impact of games on the consumers’ cognition.

Originality/value: This is the first paper to explore and model the self-congruity and game purchase and usage behaviour. This paper is further unique because it provides results across 4 games groups: (1) all games representing, followed by the alternative models, (2) Sports/Simulation/Driving, (3) Role Playing Game (RPG)/Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)/Strategy, and (4) Action/Adventure/Fighting,

Keywords: self-congruity, usage, purchase, computer games, structural equation modelling.

Article Classification: Research Paper

Does Self-Congruity Increase Game Usage and Purchase?

Abstract

This research models the relationship between the consumers’ game purchase and usage behaviour and self-congruity. Self-congruity is an important estimation of the cognitive effect of games on consumers as it measures the psychological link between the user’s self-concept and the symbolic value that can be obtained from the game. In 2009, 493 consumers in Auckland, New Zealand were randomly recruited to respond face-to-face to complete a structured questionnaire. The analysis tested the conceptual model with confirmatory factors analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM). The modelling tested game usage and purchase across the 4 model types: (1) all games model and then the alternative models, (2) Sports/Simulation/Driving, (3) Role Playing Game (RPG)/Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)/Strategy, and (4) Action/Adventure/Fighting. In our confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling, all of our models had adequate model fit with the exception of the Action/Adventure/Fighting games model. Aguirre-Rodriguez, Bosnjak and Sirgy (2012) model provides an effective framework to understand the implications for marketing games to young consumers. Research implications are discussed.

Key Words: self-congruity, usage, purchase, computer games, structural equation modelling.

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