PsychNology Journal, Volume 13, Number 2-3, 127 - 147

Is the avatar considered as a participant by the players? A conversational analysis of multi-player videogames interactions

Heike Baldauf-Quilliatre
ICAR Laboratory, Department of German and Scandinavian languages, University of Lyon 2, France

Isabel Colón de Carvajal
ICAR Laboratory, Language Sciences Department, ENS Lyon, France


ABSTRACT

Videogame interactions show a rather complex participation framework: players interact with present or absent players in and out of the game, directly or by avatars. The avatar, as fictional character which a player embodies in the videogame, has a central position: it is only through him and his actions that the player can act in the game. We therefore propose to question in detail the place the players of videogames give to the avatars. We will focus particularly on the organization of turn-taking in a complex and dynamic activity (Mondada, 2013), in which the participants constantly address their co-players as well as the different avatars in the game played by themselves. The space itself is constantly changing because the game goes on constantly. Our study is based on a collection of extracts from four French videogame interactions. The analysis revealed a particular form of turn-taking in videogame interactions (Colón de Carvajal, 2011; Piirainen-Marsh & Tainio, 2009), where the switch of turns of speech is highly dependent on the actions in the virtual world of the videogame. Thus, we have identified four forms of exchange as if a turn or action (Goodwin & Goodwin, 2004) is addressed to: a) a player, b) an avatar, c) a player and his avatar together, and d) an unclear referent.

KEYWORDS: videogame interactions, participation framework, avatar, player, actions, addressing, technology implication, objects role.


CITE AS:
Baldauf-Quilliatre, H., & Colon de Carvajal, I. (2015). Is the avatar considered as a participant by the players? A conversational analysis of multi-player videogames interactions. PsychNology Journal, 13(2-3), 127 - 147. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from www.psychnology.org.

Download Full Text (.pdfVideo1 Video 2 Video 3 Video 4a Video 4b
Return to
PsychNology Journal Volume 13, Number 2-3