Video games as a medium have always focused on having their players interact with their game worlds and narratives regardless of genre. However, a repeatedly debated concept is whether players are able to feel a sense of identification with their avatars. The majority of this debate revolves around studying works with a multiplayer focus, such as MMOs, where players can interact with one another. This paper seeks to explore if players can identify with their avatar in single-player role-playing games (RPG), as this genre focuses on the player's direct influence on the narrative through various mechanics that allow the player to craft an avatar's identity. These mechanics typically include character customization, dialogue choice, and narrative consequences, which permits the player to form a unique narrative with their avatar and thus characterize the avatar throughout their time playing a game. This paper will use Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins as case studies on how this genre accomplishes player identification and how different games use their own methods to accomplish this. The ultimate goal is to explore how games as an interactive medium can allow players to become active participants in these games and shape their narratives.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Games and Interactive Media
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Futcher, Andrew, "Avatar Identification Methods in Skyrim and Dragon Age: Origins" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1564.
Restricted to the UCF community until February 2026; it will then be open access.