Beyond the pixelated mirror: Understanding avatar identity and its impact on in-game advertising and consumer behavior

Kyle Coble, Jeremiah Ratican, James Hutson

Article ID: 2377
Vol 5, Issue 1, 2024
VIEWS - 827 (Abstract)


This article examines the complex dynamics between avatars and in-game advertising, probing how virtual representations influence consumer behavior within digital environments. It delves into the psychological interplay between self-perception and avatar embodiment, suggesting that while younger users may treat avatars as accessories showcasing personal interests, adults tend to opt for idealized selves, affecting their interaction with and responsiveness to virtual marketing. The study contemplates the avatar’s function as both a consumer and influencer in the expanding metaverse, considering the escalating integration of branded items in games. It also highlights potential shifts in consumption patterns as digital and physical realities converge. The article advocates for future research to explore the multifaceted impacts of avatars, such as age-related differences, the role of artificial intelligence in self-representation, and cross-platform avatar utilization, utilizing longitudinal data from sources like Second Life and social media profiling. In synthesizing these perspectives, the article underscores the necessity to further understand how avatars contribute to shaping digital consumerism, paving the way for a new domain in consumer psychology that navigates the evolving interface of the metaverse. The findings suggest that the nuances of digital identity formation are significant factors in the effectiveness of in-game advertising and indicate a transformative phase in marketing strategies tailored for virtual worlds.


avatars; in-game advertising; consumer behavior; metaverse; digital identity

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