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Pixels,Parts & Pieces: Constructing Digital Identity

Pixels,Parts & Pieces: Constructing Digital Identity

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Revision with unchanged content. It has often been suggested that identities created online are fragmented bits of the self, cycled through and easily discarded. The focus has often been on the creation of the digital persona and its representation, the avatar. Through auto-ethnographic research and informed by the literature culled from Game Studies, Sociology (Symbolic Interactionism, Structural Functionalism) and Social Psychology, this text explores the way interwoven patterns of play in massively multi-player online games create multi-layered digital identities. Through character creation, gameplay, and role identities, relationships between the player, their avatar, physical environment and other players develop and redefine meanings which create harmonized identities. Far from being fixed internally in the player, these identities are interwoven through internal and external interactions, creating perceptions and performances of play that emerge as complex negotiated selves, interacting between the self and the social. This book is addressed to those interested in understanding the complexities of identities developed online from both a personal and theoretical perspective.