Empathy with Non-Player Characters? An Empirical approach to the Foundations of Human/Non-Human Relationships

Jonathan Harth


This study deals with the question in which extent non-player characters (NPCs), in the practice of playing video games, appear as social persons ready for relationships or if they are only treated as mere objects. Due to the fact that for human players the computer game and its virtual inhabitants appear as black boxes, the presented gameplay and its more or less emergent narratives are always in need of interpretation. As a result, different types of play-practice emerge, which in different ways produce more or less empathic relationships towards non-human players.


NPC; non-humans; virtual relationship; viedo game

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4101/jvwr.v10i2.7272

The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at http://jvwr.net