Power in Skin: The Interplay of Self-Presentation, Tactical Play, and Spending in Fortnite

Lingyuan Li, Guo Freeman, Donghee Yvette Wohn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper endeavors to explain how and why self-presentation can affect in-game purchase behavior in Fortnite. As one of the most popular battle royale games in the world, Fortnite employs a free-to-play business model but enjoys a high revenue by selling skins and cosmetics. Using an online survey (N=247), Study 1 explores how Fortnite players' play patterns and three theoretical dimensions of self-presentation (identifiability, self-presence, and self-disclosure) are correlated to actual spending behavior. Study 2 is an interview study (N=11) that further investigates impacts of self-presentation on players? in-game purchase behaviors. Results indicate that higher identifiability, less self-disclosure, and playing alone were positively associated with the amount of money that players spent. In addition, self-presentation could affect in-game spending behaviors from five main aspects: a high demand for uniqueness, a desire to establish self-presence, a pursuit for aesthetics, indicating status as a gameplay strategy, and a highlight of community identity. Our findings not only provide new empirical evidence of nuanced self-presentation practices in spending behavior in online survival games but also inform future research on designing effective game mechanisms and engaging gaming experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI PLAY 2020 - Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages71-80
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380744
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2 2020
Event7th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2020 - Virtual, Online, Canada
Duration: Nov 2 2020Nov 4 2020

Publication series

NameCHI PLAY 2020 - Proceedings of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play

Conference

Conference7th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, CHI PLAY 2020
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityVirtual, Online
Period11/2/2011/4/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction

Keywords

  • fortnite
  • identifiability
  • in-game purchase
  • self-disclosure
  • self-presence
  • self-presentation
  • spending motivation

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