The Role of Avatars in Video Games Genre: First person shooter

Document Type : Research Paper


When players of video games are driving cars through the wintery landscapes or exploring the fantasy world of game, they experience different kind of Art and entertainment. Although it is said that games mimic the aesthetic of traditional media such as cinema the important aspect of video games is interactivity, which distinguish that from that medium. Video games are defined as interactive forms that contain technological, cultural, economic and artistic elements. But there are also specifics for games which only find in this medium. The main difference of video games with other type of interactive arts is avatars. Today, players of different genre of digital games can be immersed in virtual world of games by means of their avatars. Avatar is a virtual representation of player in the game world that can be customized or be invariant. Avatars has two aspects; they are characters that can affect identity of players if they are merged with a good story; and another aspect of avatars is their means the possibilities an avatar has and how and in which way avatar can affect the world.
The main question of this paper is what is the role of avatars is in videogames and experience of their players. The method used is Qualitative and descriptive-analytic. We focused on First person shooter for narrow our question. at first we describe avatar, after that we define perspective and point of view. We use the model that say there are three viewpoints in a videogame: Ideal viewpoint, actual viewpoint and avatar viewpoint. Ideal view point defines the perspective of game and is assigned to camera. Actual view point is the point from which player see the game world and screen and avatar viewpoint is defined as what avatar can see. Then according to Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception we define life world, inter-subjectivity and extension of body through tools and technology. As Merleau-Ponty mentioned image body of a person can extend and reshape by means of tools. In the following we use the concept of game body. Game body or camera-body is defined as a phenomenal body that exist by means of camera of game. A game body is both object and subject that makes ideal perspective of games. By progressing in videogames, players get used to avatar and camera and device controllers. So they become invisible for player. Also we have actual and physical body of player and a puppet in the screen which is called avatar there is three different body in video games: player body, game body and avatar body. There is a correspondence between the three viewpoints and the three kind of bodies.
In FPS, POV of player matches with the view point of avatar. So the players experience the world through eyes of their avatars. Because the camera shows what the avatar can see, player can experience perspective and illusion of depth properly. Players control both game body and avatar body and three different type of body aligned in a line.


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