Friday, November 4, 2011

Video Game Hero?

About a week ago, we had an in-class discussion about identity online and how Facebook is or is not a good representation of what we consider to be our true identities. Some said that Facebook was a good way to manage multiple identities, arguing that one might censure certain parts of their lives in order to maintain the identity that a particular audience (most religiously affiliated) had perceived to be true. I on the other hand said that Facebook was a tool to expose multiple facets of our identity to a larger audience and show them a more complete perspective of who we truly are. Facebook is an interactive media like videogames, the subject of this week’s discussion (video game heroes). One of the pressing questions was whether or not video games were capable of creating authentic religious identity. I think Facebook and videogames are two very good mediums to compare because both social networks and games involve virtual reality and are the most popular mediums used by my generation (in my experience). If we can make decisions of Facebook to maintain a certain identify (regardless of whether those decisions truly reflect our lifestyle), why couldn't we do the same in a religion based video game? Say a Muslim teenager is playing a Muslim-moral based video game with a friend. After defeating a level, he is asked to accept Islam or not. Regardless of his true decision, he might be "socially pressured" to accept. In this same way, peer pressure impacts the decisions we make on Facebook. So my question is, "If we can easily trick the media into creating false identities for us on interactive mediums, how can we be sure when an identity is authentic via digital media?”

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