Avatar and Extended Self in Online Gaming

Jeff Wang, City University of Hong Kong, China
Xin Zhao, University of Hawaii
Gary J. Bamossy, Georgetown University
In this paper, we investigate Chinese consumers who create, maintain, and negotiate their identities through avatars in the online gaming community. We undertook non-participant observations and conducted depth-interviews with both experienced and amateur gamers. Initial findings have generated rich insights about how gamers create game avatars to extend a sense of self. The game avatar is in essence a visualization of desirable values that Chinese gamers seek to impersonate in real life. It is often used to transgress real world constraints. Here we report some of the emergent themes and discuss the impact of game avatar as extended self on society.
[ to cite ]:
Jeff Wang, Xin Zhao, and Gary J. Bamossy (2008) ,"Avatar and Extended Self in Online Gaming", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 940-940.