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GAMES" It does mean that a great number of relationships are built on false ideas about the other, the identity created in order to support an ideal that the user has defined.
The following paper will take a look at the identity of the user in relationship to social identity theory and in the way in which gender is utilized as an aspect of play. The paper first explores the nature of the created identity through examining the development of the avatar. The gaming avatar is the virtualized visual element that represents the online created identity. This includes the aspect of gender which is explored through the choices that are made and the reasons behind those choices. Finally, sexuality and the representation of the created identity as a shield to the real identity are discussed. This creates a discussion about how the online created identity reflects and also does not reflect the real self through social identity theory and a variety of other theories that have an impact on the topic. The use of the examples of Second Life and World of Warcraft to provide for two different types of games will round out the exploration of this paper. The final discussion will include ideas of gender, sexuality, and the created online identity in order to form an analysis of the phenomenon.
The avatar gives the individual the opportunity to define themselves through choices that are consciously made rather than imposed. The individual can become whomever they choose in the context of the game while using the tools that are provided in order to create the sense of identity that is intended within the game environment. The online game identity is a pure creation in which only what a person chooses to show will be revealed. This is not to say that elements of the true self will not come through, but it does mean that there is a great deal of control through which the development of the identity can be