Comparative Look at Spectator Identification in Films and Video Games Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/d217qr518

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  • Often, characters of entertainment works, such as movies, books, or video games, display traits that people find relatable. In certain cases, a spectator of a work will develop such a strong psychological bond with a character that they identify with them. Identification with fictional characters is usually a subconscious act where the viewer or reader will empathize and project themselves onto a character in the film or book they are experiencing. Although this sense of identification is universal in entertainment mediums, films and video games have distinct ways that they cultivate this identification phenomenon. This thesis examined a variety of identification catalysts, suppressors, and theories in efforts to create a comprehensive comparative look at identification between the two mediums. With technological, interactive, and format differences, these mediums differ greatly in their effectiveness at fostering identification in the spectator. Although video games are similar to film, their interactivity pushes new boundaries of identification that film does not. Alternatively, film's character leniency allows for a range of identification possibilities that video games do not. Key Words: identification, spectator, character, film, game
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