ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (5): 810-823.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00810

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The impacts of virtual avatar in video game on users’ self-concept

HENG Shupeng1, ZHAO Huanfang1, FAN Cuiying2(), ZHOU Zongkui2   

  1. 1 College of Education, Xinxiang Normal University, Xinxiang 453007, China
    2 Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior, Ministry of Education; School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • Received:2019-05-28 Online:2020-04-26 Published:2020-03-27
  • Contact: ZHAO Huanfang,FAN Cuiying


Virtual avatar is a virtual self-presentation for player in video game. By manipulating avatars, players can play different roles and have new identities. As a projection and display of the real self, the avatar will affect individual’s self-identity and bring about changes in the real self. Recent studies have shown that manipulating avatars for behavioral and identity simulation in video games can affect players’ self-concepts. With respect to this issue, we first reviewed relevant theories which explain the reasons why avatar affect self-concept from different perspectives. Next, variables such as avatar clues, video game characteristics, and personal factors which moderate the relationship between avatar and self-concept were analyzed. Then, Its mechanism such as self presence and avatar identification were discussed. Future research will focus on the deep and long-term effects of avatar on self-concept, the interactive influence of avatar image and behavior, and the impact of self-concept change caused by avatar on real behavior.

Key words: Video Game, virtual avatar, self-concept, psychological mechanism

CLC Number: