This article sets out a new analytic framework for the systematic analysis of character creation interfaces (CCIs) in Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and Virtual Worlds (VWs), the Avatar Affordances Framework. To model this framework, we present an analysis of the CCIs from Rift (Trion Worlds 2011) and explore the pragmatics of avatar customization through a micro-ethnographic user study involving 39 participants. Our motivation is to highlight the agency of interfaces; to make visible their participation, via affordances, in self-representational practices that have hitherto been taken as a kind of direct relationship: one is as one represents oneself online.

, , , , ,
Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds

McArthur, V, & Jenson, J. (Jennifer). (2015). Plans and co-situated factions: An evaluation of avatar affordances in Rift’s character creation interface. Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, 7(1), 77–99. doi:10.1386/jgvw.7.1.77_1