The Social and Technical Anatomy of Digital Bodies
Edited By Jaime Banks
Chapter Twelve: Morality & Personality: Perfect and Deviant Selves (Matthew Grizzard / Changhyun Ahn)
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Morality & Personality
Perfect and Deviant Selves
MATTHEW GRIZZARD & CHANGHYUN AHN
Our personalities and our moral codes, perhaps more so than any other factors, represent who we are as individuals. They reflect both nature and nurture. They shape our behavior and communicate our identities. They tell others and they remind us who we are and what we are like. In everyday life, our actions and behaviors carry tremendous weight in terms of communicating our personality and morality, especially regarding first impressions. But in videogames, we are afforded potentialities that are typically inaccessible. Games allow us to engage virtually in deviant behaviors that would usually carry with them severe social or legal consequences. Alternatively, they provide us with the opportunity to craft and perfect idealized artificial manifestations of our self. It is this process of adopting an alternative personality and moral code through videogame avatars that is the focus of this chapter. Unlike other forms of media, the avatars of videogames allow media consumers to assume the role of a character within a narrative, engaging in behaviors and adopting a persona that either converges with or diverges from our own persona.
PERSONALITY AND MORALITY DEFINED
Current conceptualizations from psychology and communication describe both personality and morality in pluralistic terms. In other words, morality and personality are not monolithic, but rather are combinations of factors. A great deal of research in psychology...
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