Novak, Thomas P. "Quality of Virtual Life (QOVL)" Draft of chapter to appear in TRANSFORMATIVE CONSUMER RESEARCH FOR PERSONAL AND COLLECTIVE WELL-BEING, David Glen Mick, Simone Pettigrew, Cornelia Pechmann, Julie Ozanne, eds., New York: Taylor and Francis, 2012
This chapter begins with an overview of virtual worlds and people’s motivations for using them. As Second Life is currently the dominant example of a fully realized virtual world, many of our examples are based upon Second Life, but our discussion is relevant to all virtual worlds. We then examine the social indicators literature (largely the domain of economics, public policy and sociology) and the well-being literature (largely the domain of psychology), and identify key definitional, theoretical, and measurement issues that are relevant to building a conceptual model of QOVL. In our final section we examine the role of QOVL in the domain of transformative consumer research, and set forth a research agenda for the study of QOVL. Download pdf from SSRN.