A Dual-Identity Perspective of Obsessive Online Social Gaming

Xiang Gong*, Christy M.K. Cheung, Kem Z.K. Zhang, Chongyang Chen, Matthew K.O. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    Obsessive online social gaming has become a worldwide societal challenge that deserves more scholarly investigation. However, this issue has not received much attention in the information systems (IS) research community. Guided by dual-system theory, we theoretically derive a typology of obsessive technology use and contextually adapt it to conceptualize obsessive online social gaming. We also build upon identity theory to develop a dual-identity perspective (i.e., IT identity and social identity) of obsessive online social gaming. We test our research model using a longitudinal survey of 627 online social game users. Our results demonstrate that the typology of obsessive technology use comprises four interrelated types: Impulsive use, compulsive use, excessive use, and addictive use. IT identity positively affects the four obsessive online social gaming archetypes and fully mediates the effect of social identity on obsessive online social gaming. The results also show that IT identity is predicted by embeddedness, self-efficacy, and instant gratification, whereas social identity is determined by group similarity, group familiarity, and intragroup communication. Our study contributes to the IS literature by proposing a typology of obsessive technology use, incorporating identity theory to provide a contextualized explanation of obsessive online social gaming and offering implications for addressing the societal challenge.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1245-1284
    Number of pages40
    JournalJournal of the Association for Information Systems
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Information Systems
    • Computer Science Applications

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Contextualization
    • Dual-System Theory
    • Identity Theory
    • IT Identity
    • Longitudinal Study
    • Obsessive Online Social Gaming
    • Obsessive Technology Use
    • Social Identity
    • Typology


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