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Playing in the Zone of Becoming II: ‘Becoming’ as Identity-Formation in Video Games

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Abstract

The ‘zone of becoming’ in S.T.A.L.K.E.R, is a space where the player literally and metaphorically gains another identity. The player enters the game as a Stalker who has been left for dead on the outskirts of the Zone, suffering from a complete memory loss. The progress in the gameplay therefore involves the development of the identity of the protagonist in the game’s ‘plot’ (or the avatar) and simultaneously, also that of the player. Within the space of possibility, or the ‘zone of becoming’, the identity of the player-protagonist in the computer game changes as the possibilities within the affection-image are actualised as the action-image. Certain games like Fable (Big Blue Box, 2004) or Black and White (Lionhead Studios, 2001) lay this down in no ambiguous terms: what one does in the game determines what one becomes. This perception of a shift in identity is a symptom of ‘becoming’. Following on from the earlier discussion on agency, this chapter shows how the identification occurs not only with the avatar but also with parts of the entire game-environment and the machine itself.

Keywords

Virtual Reality Video Game Digital Game Game World Game Environment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Souvik Mukherjee 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Presidency UniversityKolkataIndia

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