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This paper explores the connection between the conventions of the live role-based performance of Process Drama, and the mediated performance of online role-playing videogames.
Identity formation within digital/virtual environments is a dominant theme in cyberculture studies. Equally, the adoption of alternate identities through performance is a key concept in Process Drama. Both activities allow participants to ‘become somebody else’. Both deal with the identity shifts possible within imagined environments. This mutability of identity
provides a metaphor for considering the episodic nature of in-role performance and out-of-role reflection in both drama and videogames. The prevalence of this metaphor within popular culture texts suggests young peoples’ perceptions of performance, role and the individual are changing. Increasingly
identity maintenance is mediated through texting, screens, the Internet and multiplayer videogames.
This paper describes a reflexive qualitative analysis of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Everquest in terms of dramatic performance and role distance, focusing on identity and learning outcomes. It provides a theoretical
connection between the conventions used in the two related educational fields of Process Drama and videogames.
Draft version. This is a preprint version of the article:
Carroll, J., & Cameron, D. (2005). Playing the game: Role distance and digital performance. Applied Theatre Researcher, 6.