Avatar Nation

Making an avatar is like making a video game character of you. It is your representation in a game. Most of the times, depending on the game and avatar options, you can pick the hair, the gender, features, clothes and shoes. You of course or given the option from the video game, but nonetheless your imagination is being put to work. Now, the question is, am I going to make the avatar look like me, how I want to like, or like the character who is going to win the game?

Personally, I like my avatar to look like me, but more idealized. I am going to pick the character with a neutral skin tone and who has brown hair.I have an afro and unfortunately, I have yet to come across that as an option on the games that I choose to play. In addition, my avatar will also have on something that I find appeasing and would possibly wear. Once she’s complete, I get a warm feeling,“That’s me!” Even though, my avatar usually looks far off from myself. I also chose girls with hourglass body types, a body type I desire and do not have. As I’ve gotten older, I have created figures that I feel are all around awesome. They no longer have to look like me; I use my imagination more to create fantastical characters. For example, after I pick out the basic raw character, I will think “What would she wear? What will help her win? Or what will she look good winning in?” I am thinking less about my own physical identity, but still implementing my preferences.

As I was researching for this blog post, I came across tons of sites that allow you to create your avatar, not just for gaming but multiple online activities. You can make an avatar from one of your own photos or you can make a Marvel superhero. Possibilities are endless. The act of creating an avatar is also not one that is ignored. The behavioral science community has noticed the avatar creating process. Overall, studies have shown that create a more idealized version of ourselves- which is not a bad thing at all. According to an interesting article I found online, this idealization allows the gamer to become more immersed in the game and ultimately enjoy the game more. Moreover, multiple theories at work were discussed, including the self-perception theory. The theory suggests, “we observe ourselves and use that information to make inferences about our attitudes or moods, as opposed to assuming our attitudes affect our behaviors”.This means that we will make an avatar and behave in the game how we think that avatar should act. If we make an extreme athletic looking, winner type of character, your gaming behavior will comply with the perceived behaviors of that specific character.

It seems as though creating an avatar has more meaning in regards to identity that most would think. There is actual psychological, rather they be conscious or unconscious, choices being made. What would your avatar look like?

Playing video games has become a norm in our cultural. It is highly unlikely to go in a home without a game console. It has become a common activity performed by an array of age groups. Because of this, multiple studies have been conducted on playing video games an the advantages and disadvantages of gaming has been explored. One benefit of playing video games is its ability to increase teamwork and collaboration, a skill that can be extremely beneficial in society. Teamwork is helpful in the home, at school and especially at work; it opens up opportunities for leadership, confidence, and compliancy.

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