People use online pseudonyms for games and forums. I do too, because I can write better under one. I use another nickname for my character on Runescape. It is an MMORPG that involves choosing a character to fight monsters, mine gold and make armour, weapons etc. I chat with other players on the public discussion. I help newbies by selling (at a cheaper rate) or giving them stuff that I make. People will see your avatar and think whether you are bad or good based on what you do. I realized that an avatar may look mature, but the person might be a kid. The people I talked to on Runescape are twelve year olds! Or they may be lying. The kid’s father or uncle could assume the pseudonym and game too.
Erving Goffman states that there are both overt and covert messages given off in the other identities. The “expressions given off are more subtle” (Donath & Goffman 59 ). This is how women and men can do role reversals when they interact on an RPG. My character is a knight and for a while, I went around in breeches, fully armored. People thought I was a man! I also train with melee combat, longsword and battleaxe. Unless I remove my helm and return to my avatar’s clothes, I can pass for a man.
The chosen identity helps you establish your own unique ‘voice’ Yet language markers are deliberately deceptive. They seem to provide safety but may be loopholes. (Donath 1996). There are distinctions between pseudonyms and anonymity.
Is he someone else or a pervert?
In the example of trolling, Ultimatego changed from one façade to another. She was discovered because of inconsistency. If you are consistently polite or the same, then your persona will be safe. Few identity cues help one to get away with a false identity (Donath 1996). For irritating spammers, you can delete them off the Friend’s list in Runescape. I had two or three people constantly bombarding my account. One of them had a doubtful character, because he was domineering, then nice. He conned me to a dangerous area and my character almost died! In gaming, the way to steal an identity is to use the person’s alias and scam others.
How do people exactly identity- theft? Anyone can track down your login password and keys by cookies. When someone loads a freeware, shareware , the computer can be hacked in and personal information will be stolen. Some thieves give bogus emails to make you cough up personal information like your social security numbers(Blake 2006). In MMORPGs, there are options to join as members, which means you have more privileges. There is additional danger that people will steal your information which you have logged in. In RS, the Jagex security warns players not to give away personal information and to use nicknames.
No guarantee but the best is not to use our own IC numbers, birthdates or real names on websites. Besides it is way more creative to use pseudonyms. Your ‘voice’ is determined by your reputation and what you write and do on the gaming sites. Same for blogs and chatrooms
Blake. M W. (Dec 2006) They've Got Your Numbers, Baby: Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft Rural Telecommunications. 25 ( 6).
Retrieved Feb 20,2007 from Proquest Direct database
Donath. J S.(1996). Identity and deception in the virtual community.
Retrieved Feb 20,2007 from http://smg.media.mit.edu/people/Judith/Identity/IdentityDeception.html
Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.
:Doubleday New York
Retrieved Feb 20,2007 fromhttp://smg.media.mit.edu/people/Judith/Identity/IdentityDeception.html
I.(2007).Phishing, Pharming,and the latest potholes on the Information Highway.
Retrieved Feb 20,2007 from com125.wordpress.com
Pictures retrieved Feb 20,2007 from images.google.com and Runescape.com