An investigation of player to player character identification via personal pronouns

Michael Hitchens*, Anders Drachen, Deborah Richards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The player character is an important feature of many games, where it is through the character that the player interacts with game world. There has been considerable interest in the relationship between the player and the player character. Much of this work has examined the identification of players with their characters, generally taking either a textual analysis approach, or has been empirical work that has explicitly identified the idea of identification through survey instruments, etc. The work presented here takes a different empirical approach, focusing on the use of various pronoun forms (first, second, third) as an indication of the relationship between player and character. Results indicate that the presence of story and information about the player character had no effect on identification with the plater character. However, characteristics of the players, particularly gender and general experience in playing video games, did have a statistically significant affect, indicating that different levels of identification are more dependent on the player than on the game. This indicates that players are not a homogeneous group with respect to player character identification and is an important consideration for designers to recognise.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlaying the system
Subtitle of host publicationpoceedings of the 8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, 21-22 July 2012 Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
EditorsDaniel Cermak-Sassenrath
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450314107
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment: Playing the System, IE 2012 - Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 21 Jul 201222 Jul 2012


Other8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment: Playing the System, IE 2012
CountryNew Zealand

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