In my feeds this week was this piece by Greg L at the virtual worlds mega-blog Terranova. Here's an extract:
At a conference
recently, I heard someone say that she had several avatars in several
virtual worlds, including World of Warcraft and Second Life. I was
surprised, though, that she uniformly referred to her avatars in the
third person. She said things like: "It isn't a good fighter - it was
exploring and it got killed by wolves."
This surprised me. Though it is perfect logical to see your avatar
as a separate thing, I still would have expected her to say "I was
exploring and I got killed by wolves." Does the usage of the third
person here sound strange to you too?
My comment (among the hundreds...):
For me personally, I use the third person to refer to videogame characters in games that give me multiple characters, such as turn-based strategy games which give me a team to deploy. In this situation, it is difficult to use "I" as you would have to pick one character to identify with. The immersion centres upon your management of the team, not on your identification with a single avatar. Perhaps players with multiple characters in multiple games would have the same perspective?
When I think back to my play of online virtual worlds, I struggle to remember how I referred to my avatar. But I imagine I said "I became a religious official and presided over several marriages after I retired from the Romulan Embassy" rather than "She retired from the Romulan Embassy". I really can't be sure though.
You can comment on Greg's post over at Terranova by clicking here. If you have any commentary solely concerned with my response, you can use the comments here as a sidebar since Terranova is so jam packed. But if you want to share your perspective on this issue, you should probably do it at Greg's original post so he can see what you think.
This is part of my new attempt to foster more dialogue with other blogs in my cluster, although since this is Terranova, I don't see it happening in this particular case.