This study examined the relationship between offline personality and avatar customisation in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) players, and questioned whether the offline personality is always the starting point for the customisation of an avatar. The aims were: to analyse the discrepancy profiles which emerge when players are asked to rate their primary avatar, actual self and ideal self with respect to certain personality factors; to explore whether these profiles varied across personality factors and within players; and to analyse the relation between discrepancy profiles and the extent to which players identified with their avatars. A sample of 845 MMORPG players completed an online questionnaire consisting of a short version of the Big Five Personality Inventory and an avatar identification scale. Four discrepancy profiles (idealised, actualised, alter ego, negative hero) common to the personality factors extroversion, consciousness, agreeableness and emotional stability and stable within players emerged. They converged into four kind of offline personality-avatar relationship differently related with avatar identification that was higher when avatar was similar to self or an extension of self, and lower when avatar was other than self, or antithesis of self. The practical implication of these finding are discussed.
Offline personality and avatar customisation. Discrepancy profiles and avatar identification in a sample of MMORPG players / Mancini, Tiziana; Sibilla, Federica. - In: COMPUTERS IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR. - ISSN 0747-5632. - 69(2017), pp. 275-283. [10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.031]