I recently wrote an article which lightly tickled the social science surrounding nerd rage on WoW, and the internet as a whole, and as is ever the case, I read the comments thoroughly. It often happens that, with more analytical articles such as those, the comments spur a whole new article, and that is exactly what happened here.
Diego makes an excellent point. A huge part of human communication that is lacking from online gaming is the body language, the facial expression, the smiling eyes that tell you something is a joke, all those things. Emoticons can go some distance towards remedying this, but it only extends so far. While not all internet rage is caused by mis-comprehension, some will be.DiegoAlvarenga :There is also the lack of body language that is like 97% of our comunication.
But I was inspired to address something else entirely, and it's a concept that's slightly tricky to explain, so bear with me. We're diving deeper into the social psychology here!
First we have to allow that our avatars, our characters, our toons, count as "bodies" in some respect. Now, of course, they aren't living, breathing entities, they don't feel pain, they don't have a heartbeat, they don't exist outside of the game-world. That much is obvious. But we inject life into them. We put a little of ourselves into them, even if we view them as puppets that travel through the world on our behalf, rather than a representation of us. You're not convinced? Let me try to persuade you.
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion