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The Protagonist and Their Avatar: Learner Characteristics in a Culture of Simulation

Michael P. McCreery, S. Kathleen Krach and Amanda Nolen
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Michael P. McCreery: University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, USA
S. Kathleen Krach: Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
Amanda Nolen: University of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR, USA

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2014, vol. 6, issue 2, 30-37

Abstract: Given the active and authentic nature of Massively-Multiplayer Online Games, researchers have begun to question the use of this virtual setting as a teaching / learning tool (Barab et al., 2010; Squire, 2006). Specific findings in virtual environments show that several personal factors mediate an individual's experiences within that environment (Przybylski, Rigby, & Ryan, 2010). Although physical-world research has focused on the personal factor of personality and its influence on learning (Caprara et al., 2011; Furnham, Chamorro-Premuzic, & McDougall, 2003; Gallagher, 1996; Olesen, Thomsen, Schnieber & Tønnesvang, 2010), very little research on personality within virtual settings has been conducted. Thus, it is important to explore more about personality changes between individuals and their avatars in virtual settings. Findings from the current study show statistically different personality score for individuals and their avatars across all domains of the Five-Factor Model. However, for three of the domains, Neuroticism, Openness, and Conscientiousness, consistent patterns of difference existed. Overall implications for these findings are discussed.

Date: 2014
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