Is This Really Me?! | YouTubers Life


In one of my Game Studies classes, my professor posed the question as to whether we believed our Avatars are an embodiment of ourselves or just an anchored reflection of who we are. It is an interesting thought to consider.

I'd like to say that in a game, such as YouTubers Life, my avatar is an embodiment of myself. She generally looks similar to how I look in real life--as close as I could get her, anyways. She is dressed in a fashion that reflects my personal taste. I'd like to think a lot of the choices I make within the game are similar to those which I would have taken in similar circumstances in reality. It's not really a surprise that I am gamer girl Jen playing a video game about a gamer girl named Jen.

But I also have to keep in mind that this was my choice. I had the choice to make my avatar whomever I wanted, but I chose her to be as close to myself as possible. I think this is because the easiest person to "pretend" to be is yourself. In the end, as much as you try to be someone else, little parts of yourself--little antics from your personality, little life views reflecting your culture--tend to seep out anyways. As I played the game, I started to feel a sort of real life anxiety when I would lose large sums of followers or would not have enough money to pay my rent. It is as if I was lost in this world and I was actually there. I felt a sort of connection to my avatar throughout her life struggles because despite her being a virtual entity within a game, her actions were chosen and controlled by me--it was my mind making all of the choices.

But I'd be lying if I said she is exactly like me.

Right from the beginning, I found myself giving her purple eyes. Purple being my favorite color, I couldn't help but want to make that her eye color when I realized that was an option. I even considered purple hair, but that was a bit far fetch for my liking. More along personality, I'm finding that I'm more confident in taking risks within the game thank I am in real life.


I am generally a very shy introvert. You would never see me willingly go out to a club to meet random guys, flirt and dance with them, and ask them to come home with me. But, within the game, I had no problem scouting the club to find the best looking guys to flirt with every single one of them. I found it interesting to see that, despite this avatar is a reflection of myself in real life,she holds traits--like self-confidence and self-reassurance--that I somewhat wish I had in real life.

She even achieves life goals that I hope to one day achieve. On top of having over 70K Followers, she gets to travel, go to many big events, and even got married to a super successful man. It is interesting to think that sometimes I impose life events on my avatar that I hope to achieve one day in life. Does anyone else find themselves doing this as well? I think we do this because it is a new virtual--or secondary--world where we call the shots of what can and cannot potentially happen to this secondary version of ourselves. It is kind of like compensation for the life you are unable to live or hope to eventually live one day.


I think it is just an interesting debate as to whether our avatars are us or just a reflection of us.

What are your thoughts on all of this? Do you tend to make your avatars similar to yourself? Do you make a completely different person with completely different aspirations? I'd love to hear your thoughts down below!

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4 comments

  1. Great article, Jen! I've given this some thought in the past as well. As I generally play MMOs (in which it is stimulated to have multiple characters, so you can try out different classes), I tend to end up with many characters that each embody some aspect of me. But, like you, I usually have one character that is most like the offline me. I usually call this character "Ravanel" (even though it is not my RL name). She is not *exactly* like me, either, though. For instance, Ravanel in Star Wars: the Old Republic (SWTOR) wears a lot of makeup, while I don't at all.

    You can read more about how I identify with my characters in this post: http://ravalation.blogspot.com/2012/05/how-rav-came-into-being.html It is pretty old, but it still holds up. :)

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    1. Thanks for the share Rav! I really loved reading your take on the topic!

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  2. An interesting point of view, Jen!
    Like you and Rav (whose mentioned post is also great, obviously ;)), I like to think that my avatars reflect at least some aspects of my personality that are more or less hidden. When it comes to their looks, a small pattern seems to have emerged over the years, but then there are still some strange exceptions that I just can't explain...
    Ah well, I think I should gather my thoughts and actually write my own blog post on the subject - so thank you for the inspiration :D
    By the way, I wish I had such cool classes as your Game Studies, back in my university years ^^

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    1. Thank you Nyanla! I'd love to read your post when you get around to doing it! Looking forward to it! & lol it is such a great class!

      I go to a University specializing in technology; so our social science faculty does a lot of research regarding the study of technology and its impact on society. I wish more universities had classes like this, because I feel like a lot of people could connect and learn so much not only about games, but about themselves and the culture it creates!

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