Virtually Me: Youth Consumers and Their Online Identities

Natalie Wood, Saint Joseph's University, USA
Lan Nguyen Chaplin, University of Arizona, USA
Michael Solomon, Saint Joseph's University, USA
Virtual worlds are 3-D computer-mediated environments that offer rich visual interfaces and real-time communication with other residents. Adolescents enter these worlds in the form of avatars – online digital personas that they create. As today’s youth effortlessly move back and forth between their real and virtual environments we can only imagine the ramifications for identity formation. This examines motivation for in-world participation, the potential impact and influence of these virtual playgrounds have on youth identity formation (real and virtual) and how the residents of these worlds function as a reference group.
[ to cite ]:
Natalie Wood, Lan Nguyen Chaplin, and Michael Solomon (2009) ,"Virtually Me: Youth Consumers and Their Online Identities", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 20-26.