Video Games and Tourism – Tourism Motivations of Chinese Video Game Players
This thesis discusses the impact of video games on the tourism motivation of Chinese video game players, focusing on the Assassin’s Creed series of games. Four research questions are considered: What is the difference between the travelers’ tourism motivations and non-travelers’ tourism motivations in Chinese Assassin’s Creed players in terms of push and pull factors? What is the relationship between demographic characteristics and tourism motivations? Do gamer typologies have impact on Chinese Assassin’s Creed players’ tourism motivations? What impact does time and frequencies of playing Assassin’s Creed have on players’ tourism motivations in terms of push and pull factors?
The review of literature focuses on video game players, video games and tourism, popular culture tourism and tourism motivation. The thesis identifies gaps in knowledge about the tourism motivations of Chinese video game players, and the relationship between tourism motivations and player typologies and participation in the game (time and frequency). As non-travelers are included in the data collection, it is found that the tourism motivation of non-travelers is also a knowledge gap through reviewing literature.
Motivational push and pull factors as the theoretical basis of this research and the study focuses on the Assassin’s Creed games series. The study uses a quantitative method and collects data through an online survey of Chinese gamers recruited through three Assassin’s Creed online communities. The first stage of data collection focused on those who had travelled to France, Italy or the UK, the locations appearing in four of the Assassin’s Creed games. 29 useable responses were collected. The second stage broadened the sample to include those gamers who had not travelled to these places (termed non-travelers). This generated 131 useable responses, making 160 respondents in total.
For Chinese video game players, novelty was the most important push factor motivating travel to the Western European countries appearing in the Assassin’s Creed games. The location attribute was the most important pull factor. There is no difference in the reported tourism motivation of travelers and non-travelers. Comparing tourism motivations by age, sociality and location attributes were not different, however, respondents aged 18 to 25 had higher importance in novelty and game-related push and pull tourism motivation factors than older gamers. There was no significant difference between male and female players' tourism push and pull motivations. Based on gaming motivation, the respondents are divided into two types: hardcore players (having multiple gaming motivations) and casual players (play games for passing time). Hardcore players give higher importance to tourism motivations than casual players. More-involved players give higher importance to tourism push motivations relating to video game than less-involved players. In popular culture tourism research, there are few explorations related to video games. The research on video games and tourism has mainly focused on the gamification of tourism marketing and travel experience. This thesis is one of a few studies of gamers and tourism. Thesis derived the new knowledge for understanding video gamers’ tourism motivations.