Love and videogames: Negotiating relationships with cultural ideals and consumer practices

Mike Molesworth, Rebecca Jenkins, Sue Eccles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In this chapter we consider how two apparently disconnected practices - one very human (loving relationships), another the apparently alienating outcome of consumer technology (videogame play) - may turn out to be linked in very intimate and perhaps surprising ways. In making this connection we hope to comment on how consumer practices may be understood in the context of dynamic human relationships and cultural ideals. Methodology: We conducted 36 phenomenological interviews with adult videogame players in order to elicit everyday experiences of videogame play in the context of the individual's lifeworld. This chapter deals with aspects of data that explore relationships with partners and children. Findings: We illustrate that consumer practices, ideals, and even couples are not stable things, but are subject to routine reconfiguration throughout life. We suggest the possibility of a triadic theory of human relationships that consists of the people themselves, their consumer practices, and ideas about what love means. Originality/value of paper: Previous questions about the value of videogame consumption have tended to ask about violence or the normalcy of how we might spend our time. In this chapter we have attempted to shift the focus to questions about human relationships and how they might be enacted with consumer technologies. By understanding the interactions between human actors, their consumer practices and their ideals we are able to comment on existing critiques and celebrations of the impact of consumer culture on human relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Consumer Behavior
EditorsRussell Belk, Kent Grayson, Albert MunMz, Hope Schau
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameResearch in Consumer Behavior
ISSN (Print)0885-2111


  • Consumer practices
  • Cultural ideals
  • Love
  • Relationships
  • Videogames

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Marketing


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