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Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2010 Oct;13(5):567-70. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2009.0243. Epub 2010 Feb 22.

"I feel more connected to the physically ideal mini me than the mirror-image mini me": theoretical implications of the "malleable self" for speculations on the effects of avatar creation on avatar-self connection in Wii.

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  • 1Department of Communication, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, 21 Campanella Way 544, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA.


What are the impacts of creating an avatar replicating the actual self versus an avatar projecting the ideal self on game players' avatar-self connection? This study leveraged an avatar-creating game (Mii Channel) within a video-game console (Wii) in a controlled, randomized study. The results of a two-group comparison (actual self-priming vs. ideal self-priming) between-subjects study (Nā€‰=ā€‰76) demonstrated the significant main effect of self-priming via avatar (Mii) creation on avatar-self connection. Game players who were primed to create a Mii reflecting the ideal self felt greater avatar-self connection than those primed to create a replica Mii mirroring the actual self. Theoretical values and implications for a burgeoning body of research on the "malleable self" and the multidimensionality of the self-concept in avatar-based interactive media are discussed.

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