The Presentation of Self in Everyday Play: On Actor-Networks and Identity Performance in Facebook Games
Andrade E Silva, S. de
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This thesis combines the perspectives of actor-network theory and game studies as a theoretical framework for analysing the role of technology in the constructions and performances of players’ identities. As digital technologies are increasingly pervading people’s everyday life, material artefacts are playing more and more roles in the way society is shaped and perceived. This ludification and mediatisation of culture has opened up new possibilities for the understanding of identity, particularly in relation to use, appropriation and re-signification of technology. The author suggests that contemporary selves are not only fragmented and dispersed, but also playful and technological, and that the social practices that shape identity construction rely more and more on technological affordances. Social network games are used to illustrate both how technology makes itself visible in the social world, and how material artefacts affect humans’ sense of self. The author concludes by arguing that, in social network games, identity comes into being through an articulation of body, imagination, and technology.