Ah, the age-old debate of immersion and association in video games! First off, let me tip my virtual hat to Riot Games — their last #esport promotion video “GODS ft. New Jeans” video is truly a feast for the eyes and shows an interesting phenomenon of how people see avatars and themselves in games. The way we relate to our in-game avatars is a fascinating subject. It’s like reading a book. Some people imagine themselves as the protagonist, feeling every emotion and every challenge as if it were their own. Others? They’re just along for the ride, watching from a distance. My friend is one of those distant observers. To him, the idea of associating with a game character is some “selling game trick.” He plays games and enjoys the story but never really “becomes” the character.
Me? It’s a different story. When I play a game, I’m not just controlling a character; I am the character. Those dragons? They’re not just pixels on a screen; they’re MY dragons to slay. That space? It’s not just a beautifully rendered backdrop; it’s MY space to explore. And keep me from starting on emotional games. Games such as “This War of Mine” are just out of my scope as they can send me into a spiral of depression. The game is great and a piece of art, but I just can’t play it. Playing as a soulless villain in an RPG? Tried it. Couldn’t do it. Every time I made a morally questionable decision, I felt like I was betraying… well, myself. It’s not about the ethics of in-game decisions. I easily distinguish the game world from the real world. As a game developer and designer, I know that my game choices are just that: choices. It’s about how those decisions make me feel as a player.
So, what about you? Where do you stand in this spectrum? Are you the distant observer, the immersed player, or somewhere in between? Do you think this association with game avatars is a marketing gimmick, or is it a genuine psychological phenomenon? Drop your thoughts below. And remember, there’s no wrong answer.
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