Online games give fulfillment to identity

By Jonathan Persson |

Steven Benner, an avid video gamer, enjoys playing all different types of video games. However, when I asked him what game he enjoys the most he said “World of Warcraft.” He plays this game in his spare time at his home, because it makes him happy.

“For me, Warcraft is not just a game. It is a way for me to live out my fantasies. I can do whatever I want within the realm of the game,” Benner said.

While playing Warcraft, Benner does not go by his real name. In Warcraft he is known as “Erattic.” When asked if that name had a certain type of meaning to him, he replied, “No, it is a randomly generated name.”

Benner finds Warcraft enjoyable because it brings excitement in his otherwise monotonous life. In Warcraft, he is able to kill monsters, loot treasure chests and engage in epic raids. These raids typically last for a few hours, but one raid lasted eight hours straight.

“Time flies when you play this game you have to be careful. I have lost many weekends playing this game,” Benner said.

Cody VanHaitsma, a fellow guild mate of Benner’s, shared his ideas as to why people enjoy alter identities. “You have the option to be someone different then who you are in real life. For instance, I am typically a reserved person, but when I play Warcraft I am a leader. I lead my friends into battle. I enjoy being the center of attention in this game.”

Sometimes this alternate identity can cross into everyday life. During one day at work, VanHaitsma organized his co-workers in a team task they had to do.

“At the time I did not realize I was being a leader, but my boss seemed very impressed,” VanHaitsma said.

Despite the various reasons for creating different identities online, both Benner and VanHaitsma agree that the major goal is to have fun.

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