- How do different forms of self-expression online affect others?
- What are the potential benefit and harms to others?
- When does “identity play” cross the line and become identity deception?
Activity 1 – Linking Avatar and Self
Once this has done click here to check your answers. While doing this think about the following:
a) how each character might be similar to or different from its matching person;
b) the many possible reasons why each person chose the character that they chose
c) the possible benefits and harms of identity play online.
Define “identity play” – the practice of trying out and deploying different identities in different settings in order to experience and represent new ways of being in the world for both personal and intellectual development.
Comment on the following:
- Describe at least 3 reasons that someone might want to present themselves differently online than they are offline.
- Name for any one of the avatar-person examples, at least one possible benefit and at least one possible harm of that particular identity presentation.
There is a lot of freedom online: often you get to decide how to present yourself to other people-what pictures to put up, what to write about yourself, what character to play as. For the many reasons that you have all pointed out, sometimes it is beneficial when your identity online is different-it may allow you to express different parts of yourself than you do offline; it may be fun or funny; and it may be more appropriate to the community that you are part of online. And sometimes identity play can be harmful-it may be misleading to others, and it may prevent you from forming closer relationships with people online. When deciding for yourself what to be online, I hope you can think back to examples we looked and make good choices.