Towards Trust and Trust Building in a Selected Cloud Gaming Virtual Community

Towards Trust and Trust Building in a Selected Cloud Gaming Virtual Community

Yulin Yao, Victor Chang
DOI: 10.4018/ijoci.2014040104
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Trust is an increasingly important factor in the virtual communities (VCs), since trust between different members can determine the long-term collaboration. The authors approach is to examine on trust building on a Cloud gaming VC. They present the related literature and set four major hypotheses based on our literature review. Survey questions were designed based on our hypotheses and sent out to Chinese participants. They collected 100 valid sample size and presented the data demographics. The authors analyze their data which has p-values 0.05 and below for all categories of their four hypotheses. They use one-way ANOVA to compare the current and previous data and explain the interpretation of the analysis. Results show that there is a high extent of accuracy, consistency and support our four hypotheses. To support the case that online gaming is an aspect of emerging Cloud, the authors show examples about role-playing game, mission in the game, transferring trust to friendship and other games in demands. They discuss the limitation of this research and explain the future directions to improve on these aspects.
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1. Introduction

The development of both the Internet and Web 2.0 have changed the way that organizations operate, which include the rise of e-commerce and online gaming platforms. The profits generated by the online gaming alone have more than US $ 2.1 billions (Lehdonvirta, 2009). Market research conducted by the iResearch Consulting Group, a marketing research Chinese firm, stated that 45.3% of China’s virtual communities (VCs) emerged in 2007 (iRsearch, 2007 a). The role of VCs is not only a platform for gaming but social interactions, since web users express themselves, interact with each other, find partners for missions, form clans to protect themselves against enemies and eventually establish their social networks. These VCs can develop into e-commerce sites with a Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) model. According to iResearch (2007 b), these VCs can be known as e-Commerce oriented Social Networks (ESNs), which involves transactions by VC members and has been developed into an emerging business model in China. ESNs are considered promising by practitioners and researchers for reasons as follows. First, VCs appeal to a large number of online users due to their interactivity, openness and the ability to connect many others with similar interests. In countries like China, not all the voices can be heard, VCs provide platforms for online users to share and discuss games of interest. There is an estimate of 500 million VC users by the end of 2013 (Fotis, Buhalis & Rossides, 2011). Second, VCs help companies execute their targeted marketing campaigns since VC forums attract people with similar interests and passion. Third, Bughin and Zeisser (2001) and iResearch (2007 a; 2012) assert that there is a higher customer conversation rate than other similar businesses such as portals, information service providers and content providers. Additionally, activities organized for VC members can help improve the customer loyalty.

There are companies that provide existing VC customers the platform for transactions. These include buying or selling products or services, or improvement of existing transaction services for VC customers. iRsearch (2008) assert that C2C type of e-commerce has accounted to 93% of all the internet transactions in 2008. Additionally, there are four active C2C platforms in China that works for gaming communities, including Taobao (part of Alibaba), TOM and eBay, PaiPai (provided by Tencent) and Baidu. The percentage of their market dominance and details of each service provider is presented in technical reports by iResearch (2007 a; 2007 b; 2012). All the major VCs in China offer links and services to these four major service providers, who rely heavily on VC members to communicate and share the knowledge between members. The operational team of the VCs and the dynamic interactions between members also encourage members themselves to take part in C2C transactions (iResearch 2007 a; 2012 a; Lu and Zhou, 2007). Lu and Zhou (2007) state that no previous work has empirically tested the relationship between VCs and C2C e-commerce, and thus finding out factors contributing to the successful delivery between VCs and C2C e-commerce.

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