A Gamers World: Role-Playing in a Virtual Environment

Today’s technology has brought video gaming into a new dimension. Games now exist where it’s players can interact with others and in a sense take over the “body” they inhabit in it’s virtual environment. All these games involve social interactions among players to accomplish tasks, causing people to form relationships with others and transform into a new being. A real world theory is that more attractive people dominate social interaction, but in the gamer world you are given the gift to become whoever you want to be. Within these games, participants assigned with more attractive looking avatars tend to behave more intimately with others. I do not play video games often, but I personally used to play the Sims, and could understand the idea that people within the gaming world have their avatars react the way they believe their appearance and gender naturally would. For instance, if I am playing the character of a trouble making teenager Sim I would have him act much more immature than I would if I was playing a businessman, and would interact with people accordingly. If I was playing an unattractive Sim, I would probably have them hold back from interactions with other people in the game compared to if I was playing a female supermodel Sim. We tend to think in the mindset of the Sim/Avatar we are controlling, and act the way we believe they would act. To expand this theory further, I believe people who have less confidence and social interaction in real life would be more tempted to chose an Avatar that is more confident and interacts more. Living out in the virtual world what they wish they could in the real world.

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