Full Article: [pdf] DOI: https://doi.org/10.22503/inftars.XIX.2019.4.10 Language: en Author(s):  Anda Zahiu
Title: I, avatar: Towards an extended theory of selfhood in immersive VR Abstract: In this paper, I argue that virtual manifestations of selfhood in VR environments have a transformative effect on the users, which in turn has spillover effects in the physical world. I will argue in favor of extending our notion of personal identity as to include VR avatars as negotiable bodies that constitute a genuine part of who we are. Recent research in VR shows that users can experience the Proteus Effect and other lasting psychological changes after being immersed in VR. An extended theory of the self, modeled after the extended mind thesis advanced by Clark and Chalmers (1998), can offer a deeper understanding of how and why immersive virtual experiences have such a transformative effect on users. The early VR scholars had a similar intuition- that “VR is a medium for the extension of body and mind” (Biocca and Delaney 1995), acting like a genuine “reality engine” (Biocca and Levy 1995).
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