In Celebration of the Inner Rogue
"Just who is it I see before me on my screen? Is it him, or is it me? What real difference could it possibly make?" Mark Wallace discusses player-to-avatar relationships.
The Psychological implications of the MMORPG/RPG have been well talked about and witnessed since there inception. The affects have only appeared to be noticed by the masses with the introduction of the online catalyst. As with this article there is a sense of two worlds overlapping, just as saying that with every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, so it goes with what we choose to immerse our selves in. Is it really different than that of a weekend retreat to gain confidence, or from listening to motivational speakers? The idea that investing hundreds of hours into a project without being affected by it is like that of an alcoholic not realizing he has a problem. I would say that there is an identifying mark that one can utilize to determine at what stage a person has reached in the fusion of self and avatar, which is what level of emotional attachment is displayed in regards to what happens to the avatar. Some examples are as simple as the constant outrage and genuine anger towards a characters mistreatment inside a virtual world. Or a server being down and players feeling lost or lonely apart from their avatar. With that said, I feel that many players do not consciously deny this fact, they are actually unaware of the subconscious link they have established with their other self/selves.