Avatar affectivity and affection

Wilde, Poppy (2018) Avatar affectivity and affection. Transformations, 31. pp. 25-43. ISSN 1444-3775

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Avatars and gamers create channels of affective flow through their connection to a gameworld. Elsewhere (Wilde and Evans) I have explored this flow as an empathic exchange, wherein the desires of each must be aligned with the other in order to progress in-game. More than this, avatars themselves incite a range of affective and emotional responses. Drawing on my autoethnographic immersion in the game World of Warcraft, in the following article I consider feelings I have towards my avatar, ranging from affection to annoyance. Exploring her affective potential, I ask what these feelings can tell us about our relationships with technology and conclude that the way we are able to affect and be affected by others and environments around us shows us to be the entangled beings posthumanism suggests, and the avatar-gamer is one example that demonstrates the intimacy that emerges between human and machine in contemporary societies. This paper therefore contributes to debates that renounce the view of technology as subservient, seeing it instead as equal, thereby reworking past considerations through affective understanding.

Item Type: Article
2018Published Online
30 June 2018Accepted
Uncontrolled Keywords: affect, avatar, autoethnography, posthuman, World of Warcraft
Subjects: CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Media and English > Birmingham School of Media
Depositing User: Poppy Wilde
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2019 08:45
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:59
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8310

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