Shadow play is an ancient form of Chinese theater, with a history of over 2000 years and is a world-class intangible cultural heritage. Due to the limitations of the media and its outdated method of display, shadow play is slowly fading out of people's lives. Will shadow play really disappear or can it be spread in a new way to attract the attention of young people, thereby saving the art of shadow play?
Short video is a digital platform used for learning and entertainment purposes favored by adolescents. The use of short videos holds a certain extent of impact on adolescents' attitudes and behaviors.（Marengo,2018；Yau,2018）According to a survey conducted by the Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, among 13 to 18-year-olds, 20% said that they were 'almost always' watching short videos. In 2019, a report from Kwai, a short video application, revealed that a short video of intangible cultural heritage is released every 3 seconds. Nine hundred and eighty nine kinds of national intangible cultural heritage appeared on Kwai application, accounting for 72% of the total number of national intangible cultural heritage. Therefore, this study uses short video as the research platform to study the willingness to watch shadow play among teenagers.
Based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and the Information System Success Model (D&M), this study takes performance expectancy, social influence, information quality, system quality, and cultural factors as independent variables, gender as the moderator variable, and the adolescents' willingness to watch shadow play short videos as the dependent variable to explore whether shadow play can be popularized among teenagers.
In this study, 402 valid questionnaires of Chinese adolescents aged from 12 to 18 years old were analyzed. The reliability and validity of the factors were tested, and a correlation analysis was conducted to explore the relationship between the five influencing factors and the willingness to watch. The moderating effect of gender on the willingness to watch was examined through a moderating effect analysis. Finally, a multiple regression analysis was used to explore the factors influencing the adolescents' willingness to watch shadow play short videos.
The findings are as follows: (1) performance expectancy, social influence, information quality, and cultural factors have positive effects on adolescents' willingness to watch shadow play short videos, among which performance expectancy has the greatest impact on adolescents' willingness to watch shadow play short videos. (2) System quality has no significant effect on adolescents' willingness to watch shadow play short videos. (3) Gender has no significant moderating effect on adolescents' willingness to watch shadow play short videos. Thus, it is possible to popularize shadow play among teenagers through digital visual media such as short videos. This study can also prove that intangible cultural heritage will not perish as long as it is distributed in the form of visual media that the audience willing accepts.