In Their Own Words: Unique Components
The Search for Self
Others describe how virtual worlds in general are a tool in the search for the self.
The major motivations are covered, but, for me, the motivations are symptomatic of a greater need. Ultimately, I'm searching for a simulation of life that allows for comparable complexity and depth but also providing a safe environment to explore my own personality socially, intellectually, and even spiritually. Each of the major motivations are just as much a part of real life as they are virtual. Except in the virtual world, one can start over if the persona doesn't fit right, or even respawn after an error in judgment proves fatal to the avatar. [DAoC, M, 34]
The Search for Youth
And most intriguing of all, the following player articulates how the online environment provided a means to become young again.
Being in a world apart from RL where I am only responsible for me...like when I was single. Its very liberating to be 45 and an adventurer again...while I am not 'new' any longer I can buy a game and the world is new...like when I was young. It sort of recapitulates my youth.... I play with my son for last 5 years ..he is 15 and we talk about how useful his play has been to his practicing of social skills, risk taking, learning about racism (in EQ when some races wont sell to you)...I think it has been a useful exp for him to learn to budget his money, to buy and sell items for his own support....with me nearby (we are 2 boxers) but he is able to create life without me....its been a motivator for my play also...as a learning tool for him that's fun for us both. [WoW]