I like video games. There are the old classics like Mario Bros. or Pokèmon Yellow, and there are the ones that have been put out more recently, like the Mass Effect Trilogy or Saint’s Row IV. In the more recent games you play as yourself, designing every little detail about your avatar’s physical appearance and backstory. Throughout each of these games stories, you can choose to act in whatever way pleases you most. The game can either be a recess for your deepest and most twisted desires, or a pleasant affirmation of your own moral purity. Either way, the Avatar which you design becomes you in one way or another. In a previous post I asserted that you can define yourself based on preference. This assertion can be maintained to not only include material preference but also preference of action. What does it say about you if you decide to give your avatar’s vast wealth away to the millions of in-game people who need it most? Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, what does it say about you if you make your avatar level entire city blocks with the wave of his hand?
While researching this topic I happened across a video that explores this idea perfectly. In the video ‘Controlling vs. Being your Video Game Avatar’, Mike Rugnetta explores the differentiation between just controlling your in game self, and becoming your in game self. In my opinion, all video games have to contain some portion of yourself in them, or else the game fails to immerse the player and the player never truly invests in the game, the player leaves without having learned anything from the experience. For more on this, watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLkyNzFmlHA&list=PLtHP6qx8VF7c0-JLPGLoIOl9LEpXmsBi7