Shirokanova A.A. MMORPGs as Platforms of Forming Personal Identity

Shirokanova Anna Aleksanrovna
Candidate of Sociological Sciences, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Communication, Belarusian State University
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Nezavisimosti Prosp., 4, 220030 Minsk, Belarus

Abstract. This paper deals with the problem of diffusion of the private and public spaces of communication in new media. The author claims that the devices for computer-mediated communication get integrated into the domain of personal identity as storage for "digital memories" and as tool of mediating perception and everyday-life experience. It is also shown that the formation of personal identity is hampered in most of new media as a result of reducing corporality dimensions (Dietmar Kamper) and blurring the image of the significant Other (Slavoj Zizek). Mass multiplayer online role games are presented here as a mixed mode of communication where, in contrast to social networks, the most important components of successful communication are long-term orientation, synchronous interaction aimed at reaching a common goal, the possibility of physical participation, and "human-human" communication. As a result, MMORPGs can provide wider opportunities for personal identity development, when compared to other popular types of new media.

Key words: MMORPG, computer games, social networks, new media, personal identity, the other, computer-mediated communication.

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MMORPGs as Platforms of Forming Personal Identity by Shirokanova A.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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