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Title: Avatars as transitional objects: the impact of avatars and digital objects on adolescent gamers
Authors: Koles, B.
Nagy, P.
Keywords: MMORPG
Digital objects
Transitional space
Transitional objects
Online material culture
Virtual consumption
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Intellect
Abstract: With practically unlimited opportunities for having fun, the Internet and numerous applications rapidly became favourable means of popular media among members of the younger generation, who enthusiastically embraced the contributions of the new Digital Age. The purpose of the current article is to explore the nature of adolescent gamers’ use of avatars as transitional objects, via employing object-relations theory to understand the psychological use of objects within a digital material culture. Incorporating the psychoanalytic research interview method, the current study builds on in-depth interviews with two adolescent males. By equipping their avatars with special skills, attributes and possessions, users were able to establish their virtual presence, and in turn address and compensate for certain difficulties, shortcomings and anxieties deriving from their offline existence and family conflicts. The avatars were viewed as objects of perfection and collectors of meaningful artefacts, and served as a source of status, recognition and accomplishment; frequently reaching beyond offline realities. Throughout the manuscript, we discuss relevant implications for the field of game studies.
Peer reviewed: yes
DOI: 10.1386/jgvw.8.3.279_1
ISSN: 1757-191X
Accession number: WOS:000391005600005
Appears in Collections:BRU-RI - Artigos em revistas científicas internacionais com arbitragem científica

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