Digital Identity

Digital Identity is a very interesting topic (especially since we just had a very in depth discussion on it). The idea that we would be able to project ourselves to the “entire” world would not seem possible a century ago. Whenever we decide to go on Facebook/twitter and post, or make a blog post for Digital History we are presenting ourselves to the world in theory. What I think is very interesting is that even though our posts or on the internet that does not mean everyone is watching. Fame can also play a huge part in your digital identity because you are more likely to be loved or attacked. I am a big gamer kind of guy so in the game “League of Legends” there is a GREAT example of digital identity. In this game people will only see your name as an in game tag that you create. There is this really high level player that a lot of people know as “Hi Im Gosu”. Many of his/her fans that watched his/her live streams and YouTube videos wondered why he/she didn’t use a webcam or speak. He/she took on this persona or digital identity that he/she was a female gamer (started by rumors that it was a girl). Once people heard this they had a larger respect for her as this really flashy high risk high reward female player. Not only that but she was a female who was one of the best players online in North America. One day she got drunk on stream (very VERY drunk) and decided to do a face reveal with her webcam. It was then after 2.5 years of having this persona everything changed when everyone found out she was actually a he who pretended to be a girl. When asked why he did it he would usually respond with it being a joke or that he didn’t see the harm in it since he was only playing the game. The importance to this is that he now had a duel digital identity. The one he has currently and the one he has left behind as a female gamer. I know this may be hard to understand so ill try to list it out to make it easier.

“Female” “Hi Im Gosu”

  • Quite/never spoke only typed
  • indirectly promoted female gamers (or at least that was the effect)
  • iconic player/role model for many upcoming players of the game

Male “Hi Im Gosu”

  • Talks softly and often rages
  • revealed depression and suicide problems
  • dropped off as an iconic player

The point in all of this is not really to highlight his decline as a player, but that his change in digital identity. For over two years everyone believed this guy was a very talented female, but in reality was a male with social problems. This sort of stuff will not only occur in video games, but everywhere on the internet. Behind every screen is a person who may not be the same as the person you are being presented.

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