Challenging the User-Avatar Dichotomy in Avatar Customization Research

Victoria McArthur

Abstract


The work presented here represents an Actor-Network Theory (ANT) approach to the study of self-representation in games. Though the development of a novel analytical framework we aim to challenge the anthropocentric approach that is all too common to identity work in favour of an ANT approach. We argue that self-representation studies must break free of the user-avatar dichotomy in order to reveal how other factors, such as design practices, socioeconomic factors, digital and offline cultures, as well as researchers' own lived experiences and assumptions affect self-representational practices.


Keywords


Avatars; Avatar customization; microethnography; actor-network theory; interfaces; human-computer interaction; methodology

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