As people increasingly play online games, numerous new features have been proposed to increase players' log-on time at online gaming sites. However, few studies have investigated why people continue to play certain online games or which design features are most closely related to the amount of time spent by players at particular online gaming sites. This study proposes a theoretical model using the concepts of customer loyalty, flow, personal interaction, and social interaction to explain why people continue to play online network games. The study then conducts a large-scale survey to validate the model. Finally, it analyzes current online games to identify design features that are closely related to the theoretical concepts. The results indicate that people continue to play online games if they have optimal experiences while playing the games. This optimal experience can be attained if the player has effective personal interaction with the system or pleasant social interactions with other people connected to the Internet. Personal interaction can be facilitated by providing appropriate goals, operators and feedback; social interaction can be facilitated through appropriate communication places and tools. This paper ends with the implications of applying the study results to other domains such as e-commerce and cyber communities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Human-Computer Interaction