Getting into the Game: An Examination of Player Personality Projection in Videogame Avatars

Research output: Other contribution


This paper examines avatar creation and identification in videogames by exploring how players project aspects of their personality into the virtual environment. Expanding on research in the area of identity theory, and applying aspects of personality construction, it was hypothesized that players would create and perceive their avatars according to their individual ideal self construct. The study sampled 54 subjects (27 females; 27 males) who played the game Skyrim for a prolonged period, then compared five-factor personality inventory scores of actual self, ideal self, and projected self through bivariate correlation analysis. The five factors tested were: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience. Results indicate that while strong correlation exists between subjects’ actual self scores and ideal self scores in four out of five tested dimensions, indicated low cognitive dissonance and discrepancy regarding personality, moderate to strong levels of correlation only exist between ideal self and projected self in the dimension of openness to experience. Similar results were found between actual self scores and projected self scores. This indicates that players may be more likely to experiment with alternate self constructs in most aspects of personality, than to build and play avatars according to either actual self or ideal self constructs. A discussion of the greater implication of the results, mitigating factors, and future research opportunities is included.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
StatePublished - May 4 2016

Publication series

NameBright Ideas Conference

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