WHO ARE YOU? Exploring Online Personas

Who am I? It’s the question we ask ourselves almost everyday. However, most of us fail to identify the differences between our real-life personas and our online personas. Our real-life personas tend to present ourselves as we truly are, whereas our online personas tend to be a more consciously fabricated version of ourselves, or more specifically, the person we want to be. However, another question that can be asked is whether our online personas can affect our real-life personas?

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As I write this post, almost everybody around me is either on their laptops, smart phones or tablets.  With this in mind, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to assume that about half of those people have a social media tab open, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram. This is the world we live in and as technology continues to develop, our online-personas slowly begin to cast a shadow on our real-personas. Frightening, isn’t it?

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This is Max, logging out.

Note: I would highly recommend watching the episode of Black Mirror titled ‘Nosedive’, which really examines this concept in depth.

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The sinister side of memes

If we’ve learnt anything from the last 5 years or so, it’s that memes are here to stay. They have become intrinsic to our culture, the way we communicate and share information. Even the NSW police have recognised this, and increasingly reinforcing their messages through memes. People often forget, however, that memes can often have sinister connotations, especially when venturing into the 4chan area of the internet.

Take Pepe the Frog, for example. If you didn’t know about it’s recent controversy, you would just look at the meme as just a bit of harmless banter, or shitposting. However, if you know about its now controversial appropriation by some of the ‘alt-right’ community, you would immediately think of anything associated with the ‘alt-right’ (Donald Trump, White supremacists, etc.).

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Produsage in Video Games

“A significant paradigm shift is now underway”  (Axel Burns)

The change in the way content is created, particularly in video games, is simply remarkable. With the introduction of the internet, we are now able to share and gather information from anywhere in the world. For some, this would be considered dangerous, but for others, like me, this is very exciting. As a gamer, it is a very exciting time: games are no longer restricted to the boundaries set by game producers, as players are now able (in most video games) to customise their own characters and worlds & then share them online for others to use. Think of it like a player-created DLC (Downloadable Content). Take GTA V, for example. So much of the game’s appeal and popularity is no longer simply down to the ability to carry out all sorts of criminal acts or destroy everything. It is now heavily appealing to those who  simply enjoy creating races, characters and vehicles. Another example would be the incredibly popular Minecraft, in which its whole purpose, is to allow the user to create content (buildings, worlds etc.). It’s an exciting time, for video games, and I’m excited to see how much further video games will allow players to create and share content.

Animated GIF  - Find & Share on GIPHY

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