First person paparazzi: Why social media should be studied more like video games

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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. This essay provides an exploratory study of the gaps in research at the intersection of social media and video game research, specifically as they relate to user identity and concepts of reality. Social media and video games are explored through their similarities, including goals of becoming a hero/celebrity, exemplified in social media through users acting like their own paparazzi. A systematic analysis compares research regarding identity and reality in social media and video games from January 1, 2005 to March 29, 2011. While similar themes have emerged, the way that these themes are studied within video games and social media differ. These gaps in research suggest four new research areas for social media: mirrors, stereotypes, immersion, and definitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
JournalTelematics and Informatics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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