I'm thinking about identification again.
In traditional film and video, the viewer attempts [or is encouraged] to
emotionally identify with the characters they watch on the screen – usually
with the protagonist, antagonist, etc…
In real life, however, we generally don't walk around watching people,
looking for someone to be a character to identify with.
Switch now to virtual realities.
A multi-participant virtual environmentis a psychological
grey-zone when it comes to identification. We're watching a screen [or some
other type of display] on which we see representations of participants.
They are representations controlled in real-time by actual persons.
What sort of identification processes are occurring in this environment?
Is it possible to react to the experience like a film, trying to locate a
character to be our personal protagonist?
What if the participant we choose to be our protagonist doesn't want to be
the object of our identification?
What if you don't want to be an identification-object for some other
These scenarios seem a little far-fetched. But why should we believe that
psychological processes that exist when watching a traditional film or video
won't find some way to creep into these new forms of participatory
What does it mean to psychologically impose personal narratives onto the
real-time representations of your fellow participants?