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Online Games, offline selves: A
  possible selves approach to
offline self-concept negotiation
 by wheelchair users of Vir...
Overview
•   Disability and the internet
•   Theoretical approach: Possible Selves
•   Context
•   Method
•   Results
•   ...
Disability and the Internet
• Freedom of access (Houlihan et al, 2003)
  – The internet “…has the potential to mediate the...
Possible Selves
         (Marcus & Nurius, 1986)
• People develop through imagined notions of who they
  want to become, w...
An example -the context
• Online games
• Identity
• Physical ability
Aims, RQs and hypotheses
Research Questions
•    In what way do wheelchair users develop possible selves online?
•    What...
Method
• Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
  (Smith, 1996)
  – Experiential
  – Holistic
  – Non-problematic
• Semi...
Participants
• 5 wheelchair users with severe physical
  disabilities (C5 or C6 spinal cord injuries)
    –   1 = since bi...
Results: Themes
• Development of in-game roles related to out-of-
  game possible selves
  – Ways in which possible selves...
Ways in which possible selves are
        negotiated in-game
You do get this thing, you know, that you are the one
  walki...
The medium’s effect on the
  development of possible selves
• In-game feedback for goal-directed actions
  – Success of de...
Discussion
• Fabricate implausible possible selves
  resulting in diffuse affective results in
  offline self-concepts
  –...
Conclusions and Future Research
• Researchers cannot assume that
  crossover between online and offline
  occurs in a gene...
Thanks!

     Aleks Krotoski
         SPERI
A.Krotoski@Surrey.ac.uk
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Online games, Offline Selves: A possible selves approach to offline self-concept negotiation of wheelchair users of virtual worlds

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AoIR 7.0 (Brisbane, September 2006)

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Transcript of "Online games, Offline Selves: A possible selves approach to offline self-concept negotiation of wheelchair users of virtual worlds"

  1. 1. Online Games, offline selves: A possible selves approach to offline self-concept negotiation by wheelchair users of Virtual Worlds. Aleks Krotoski Julie Barnett, Evanthia Lyons SPERI University of Surrey
  2. 2. Overview • Disability and the internet • Theoretical approach: Possible Selves • Context • Method • Results • Discussion • Conclusions
  3. 3. Disability and the Internet • Freedom of access (Houlihan et al, 2003) – The internet “…has the potential to mediate the impact of impairment on social isolation and assure a higher level of social participation” (p. 422) – Physical and social access engenders a sense of self- efficacy, independence and control • A “level playing field” (Bowker & Tuffin, 2002) – The online environment promotes anonymity, which encourages the presentation of an “un-marked” self – Agency over self-identity – Control over power dynamics – BUT Passing = “Normalisation” of the internet?
  4. 4. Possible Selves (Marcus & Nurius, 1986) • People develop through imagined notions of who they want to become, who they are afraid of becoming and what they believe about their potential • Multiplicitous • Motivational • Symbolic representations • A link between self-concept and behaviour – Self concept: “a complex and dynamic phenomenon perpetually in-progress through the adoption and rejection of possible selves” • Formed through social comparison • “Tried on” • Assimilated into identity structure through trial and error
  5. 5. An example -the context • Online games • Identity • Physical ability
  6. 6. Aims, RQs and hypotheses Research Questions • In what way do wheelchair users develop possible selves online? • What kinds of possible selves are created? • How do possible selves present themselves? • What are the offline effects of the online possible selves? Hypotheses: • Game-designed mastery and reward or failure and punishment will enhance the adoption or rejection of online possible selves into offline self-concept. • The social interaction element of the online game context will encourage the adoption or rejection of possible selves. • The goal-oriented design of online games will encourage users to try on possible selves in a “safe” space • The absence of physical restriction will encourage online users in wheelchairs to adopt possible selves that emphasise access, physicality and control.
  7. 7. Method • Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 1996) – Experiential – Holistic – Non-problematic • Semi-structured interviews • Highly structured analytic process
  8. 8. Participants • 5 wheelchair users with severe physical disabilities (C5 or C6 spinal cord injuries) – 1 = since birth – 2 = 10+ years – 1 = 5-10 years – 1 = 2-5 years • 3 current online game players • Age 19-42 years • Playtime = 26-40 hours per week • Length of time = 2+ years
  9. 9. Results: Themes • Development of in-game roles related to out-of- game possible selves – Ways in which possible selves are negotiated in- game – Online role choices and social histories • Social representations of physical disability • The medium’s effect on the possible selves that were developed – Flexibility – In-game feedback for goal-directed actions – Social feedback – Multiple characters
  10. 10. Ways in which possible selves are negotiated in-game You do get this thing, you know, that you are the one walking down the stairs, you are the one pointing the gun, you are the one turning left, even if you can’t in real life. If you want to turn left you can turn left. (Marcus) I've been imagining myself being able to walk, fly, pilot a starship for a long time. Being in a virtual world, able to walk or fly, isn't too new a concept for me. I'd say, for me, my experience in a wheelchair probably makes it as difficult to reorient my view of walking as it is for someone who does walk -- I'd like to think I have an edge in the "no preconceived mindsets of...how to work in strange, difficult environments." (Aaron)
  11. 11. The medium’s effect on the development of possible selves • In-game feedback for goal-directed actions – Success of developing an online character shows me that I can do anything I want, if I try. (Jon) – it’s a challenge to control the game with the controls that I use and I think that when I do that I think there are other things I can be persistent at. (Marcus) • Social feedback – I suppose just thinking that I can do things, yeah. You know, you start to be able to play a game and you think, well I can play that as well as someone else can. So, yeah, that, that does help. A positive attitude, I suppose, it does make you feel more positive in general, definitely. (Marcus)
  12. 12. Discussion • Fabricate implausible possible selves resulting in diffuse affective results in offline self-concepts – Self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977) – Support for Social Model of Disability • Exploring (their own and) others’ understandings of physical disability
  13. 13. Conclusions and Future Research • Researchers cannot assume that crossover between online and offline occurs in a general way, but that it is driven by the aspects of offline identity that are brought to the medium by individuals • Explore different “Nationalities”
  14. 14. Thanks! Aleks Krotoski SPERI A.Krotoski@Surrey.ac.uk
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