Aspects of Identification in Computer Gaming

Lars-Erik Berg


This article relates computer gaming to the social psychology of identity, focusing the notion that identity construction has a reflected character not only in virtual reality but also in real life. This gives a tight correspondence between the two, although the screen construction of identity goes on in greater independence of real other persons. Gaming has the trait that it contracts several events at one point in space and time. This provides for two extremes of identification: functional and existential identification, which are tightly coupled in gaming, but also for the element of meaning creation in gaming, where the step from concrete action to mental act is short, as well as for the processes of anticipatory identification that are found in it. This gives a high emotional intensity to it. The analysis is based on a theoretical sketch of stages in the act, building on the work of G. H. Mead.


action; computer games; anticipatory identification; identity; meaning; psychology

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