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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

First person paparazzi: A systematic analysis of identity and reality in social media and video games
by Cirucci, Angela M., M.A., Temple University, 2011, 181; 1494442
Abstract (Summary)

Video games are often thought of as a type of social media, yet social media are not often thought of as a type of video game. Due to the fact that both are media that arguably play a large role in identity formation and perception of reality, this paper argues that social media should be looked at as providing a type of video game experience. While the study is not limited in its scope to teens, they play an important role. This paper explores identity as being social and interactive and also affected by media. The relationship between representation and reality is also explored and applied to the current celebrity culture. Social media and video games are explored through their similarities, including their goals of becoming a hero/celebrity, exemplified in social media through users acting like their own paparazzi. A systematic analysis is conducted to compare research regarding identity and reality in social media and video games since 2005. While similar themes emerged, the way that these themes are studied within video games and social media differ. These gaps in research lead me to four new research area suggestions for social media: mirrors, stereotypes, immersion and definitions. Through these new research areas, I propose five possible future studies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hobbs, Renee
Commitee: Saari, Timo, Vacker, Barry
School: Temple University
Department: Mass Media and Communication
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: MAI 49/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication
Keywords: Celebrity culture, Identity, Reality, Social media, Teens, Video games
Publication Number: 1494442
ISBN: 978-1-124-68984-5
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