Extending the self: Player-avatar relations and presence among U.S. and Chinese gamers


  • Zhenyang Luo North Dakota State University
  • David Westerman North Dakota State University
  • Jaime Banks Texas Technology University




This study investigated how player-avatar interaction (PAX) and player-avatar relationship (PAR) are associated with spatial presence, social presence, and self-presence in video games, and additionally how the associations differ between Chinese and American players. American and Chinese players were recruited to answer a survey king about these variables. The survey was translated from English to Chinese for the different samples. Regression models and ANOVA analysis were used to analyze data, and the results revealed several significant associations between dimensions of PAX and the three types of presence. Additionally, results indicated that player-avatar relationships characterized by identity play and extension are generally associated with higher level of presence than the other two relationship types. Cultural differences were also found, with American and Chinese players differing in how PAR associated with social presence. Thus, the present study adds more understanding to presence in video game, avatar-moderated gameplay, and cross-cultural differences in video gaming, and suggests avenues for future research.


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Peer Reviewed Research Papers