Identification with video game characters as automatic shift of self-perceptions

C. Klimmt, D. Hefner, P.A. Vorderer, C. Roth, C. Blake

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Two experiments tested the prediction that video game players identify with the character or role they are assigned, which leads to automatic shifts in implicit self-perceptions. Video game identification, thus, is considered as a kind of altered self-experience. In Study 1 (N = 61), participants either played a first-person shooter game or a racing game. Subsequently, they performed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) designed to detect cognitive associations between character-related concepts and players' self. Findings indicate a stronger automatic association of military-related concepts to shooter players' self and a stronger association of racing-related concepts to racing game players' self. Study 2 (N = 48) replicated the IAT result from Study 1 and demonstrated the stability of the identification pattern. Implications for identification as an element of the video game experience and future research directions are discussed. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-338
JournalMedia Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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