Jacki Morie: “The Performance of the Self and Its Effect on Presence in Virtual Worlds”

October 19, 2008 | Padova, Italy

Speaker: Jacki Morie
Host: The 11th International Workshop on Presence

This paper discusses the many types of roles that people play within digital arenas such as online virtual worlds, and how those authored selves can enhance the sense of Self presence. Erving Goffman maintains that we play many roles in our everyday lives and that our identity is constantly being redefined by both aspects of a situation and the other people with whom we interact. With the explosion of online virtual worlds, the possibilities for such performances of self have multiplied. We now have more opportunities to explore aspects of our personalities including those that we might be reluctant to expose in real life situations. This is a new development for virtual reality: participants can create their appearance in online virtual worlds and become extremely connected to it. The potential for these personas to affect and enhance the sense of Presence should be addressed and both quantitative and qualitative methods developed to measure their effects.