A1 Journal article – refereed
Digital natives in social virtual worlds: A multi-method study of gratifications and social influences in Habbo Hotel

List of Authors: Matti Mäntymäki, Kai Riemer
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2014
Journal: International Journal of Information Management
Journal acronym: IJIM
Volume number: 34
Issue number: 2
Number of pages: 11
ISSN: 0268-4012
eISSN: 1873-4707


Millions of teenagers today engage in social virtual worlds (SVWs). However, teenagers, often referred to as digital natives, represent an under-investigated group in the virtual world research and the Information Systems literature. To this end, we draw on developmental psychology and the uses and gratifications approach to examine teenagers’ continuous SVW use with a multi-method approach. We first investigate role of psychological gratifications and social influences in predicting teenagers’ intention to continue using Habbo Hotel. Thereafter, to gain a deeper understanding of their in-world activities, we triangulate our findings with a structured content analysis of the respondents’ open-ended comments. Our quantitative and qualitative findings show that the intentions to continue SVW use are predominantly hedonically motivated. Moreover, we demonstrate that inside the platform users engage in social activities that are often associated with the hedonic experience. Finally, we discuss how these activities both extend and are distinct from digital natives’ offline and online social interactions.

Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 08:38