[MUD-Dev] Levels of immersion

olag at ifi.uio.no olag at ifi.uio.no
Wed Dec 13 14:13:48 CET 2000

Note: This message was written via the list web archives.  There is
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Original message: http://www.kanga.nu/archives/MUD-Dev-L/2000Q4/msg00518.php

On Tue, 12 Dec 2000 17:26:40 -0800 (PST)
Travis Casey <efindel at earthlink.net> wrote:
> This does not, however, mean that you think you *are* your character.
> I can be in full immersion, and if someone walks up to me physically
> and asks, "What's your name?" I'll say, "Travis Casey", not "Efindel
> of Asperdi."  Thus, even though I am roleplaying at an unconscious
> level, I am still conscious of the fact that I am *not* my character.
> To me, to say that "you are your character" implies that you are no
> longer conscious of the distinction between yourself and your
> character.

I think perhaps we are starting to mix different issues here, although
I'll claim that the difference between the character and other roles
(like being a parent, a king, a president, a teacher) isn't all that
different. We take on new "partial identities" and switch between
roles all the time, depending on the context.  Anyway, there is a
difference between being immersed into a situation and taking on a
new identity as your primary identity out-of-context.

There is a difference between not being able to distinguish
between identities/roles and being able to take on identities/roles
appropriate for different contexts and deal with them on the
emotional level.  I believe context is vital here.

I am usually labeled "Ola" and like to think of myself as free. In the
airforce that was no longer the case, I was a number + my surename, and
not at all free, didn't feel like free, and to some extent temporarily
altered my personality and identity to "survive" in-context. Same thing
with school. So if there is a strong link between context and
identity/personality then it is even desirable to be able to be
flexible about the identity/personality you assume in different

(not suggesting that it is healthy to switch between radically
different identities/personalities out-of-context out-of-control)

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