Constructing i dentities in an Online Community of a Video Game
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Video game production is more than a successful entertainment industry. With games as vessels, many stories have been told and experienced differently. Like many other forms of human-computer interaction, games are partly designed to break the need for other participants, however, a player still feels the need to remain in contact with other players, and thus, communities of single-player games are built. This study uses Communication Theory of Identity (CTI) as a framework, explores the identity gaps and identity guided behaviors in an online forum discussing lore of The Witcher game franchises. During a qualitative content analysis, over 80 forum threads and more than 5000 posts and replies were analyzed. Findings showed that in The Witcher 3 forum, CTI as a multi-layered framework still applies in general. However, the result also presented the need for group-based layering in future CTI development. Furthermore, through this study, I attempt to explore a new way to study and observe CTI propositions. Focusing on communication environments instead of looking into specific identity gaps may be able to help scholars to further analyze possible forms of interaction between different layers of identity. ...
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