After reading “Videogames, Avatars, and Identity” I couldn’t help but be in disbelief. Well let me start off and give some of the definitions of what an “avatar” truly is. According to Chris Rawford an avatar are “virtual constructs that are controlled by human players and function as a means of interacting with other characters.” In the broadest sense, an avatar is “the users representative in the virtual universe.” Though I may not play RPG I know the feeling of playing a game and getting sucked into the game that all I can think about is when I’m going to play again and what tactics I’m going to change so I can go further into the game. So when this article states how people spend 1,000+ playing a simple game, I became stunned.
I do believe it to be true that heavy use of RPG can blur ones ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. I have a friend who somewhat plays RPG, or at least started playing. He spends countless hours playing though he maybe a beginner; it gets to a point where he completely ignores the outside world since he is so consumed by the game. When I asked him about which identity he identifies himself he hesitated. At first he responded real world, but after a couple of seconds he switched his mind and answered virtual. He admitted to me that one day while he was playing his mom kept calling his name so he could help her with something. After many minutes of waiting his mom finally goes into his room calls him again and he responds, “Mom I’m playing, I don’t think he’s so happy with you here interrupting me while I’m trying to get past this level.” My friend did something that was stated in the article, he is basically expressing himself but through an avatar. Whether it maybe the darker or brighter side of someone, it has become a virtual and real world identity.
I feel that as soon as a game starts becoming like an outlet, they’re maybe something going on. How can someone play countless hours a day? Not to mention how much time does accumulate. Maybe Marvin Minsky an MIT scientist had a point, “our connection to the real world is very thin and our connection with the artificial world is going to be more intimate and satisfying than anything that’s come before” stated the year 1989.