So you actually care what a hyperidentity is? 😛
Well *deep breath* hyperidentity is a term created by Miroslaw Filiciak a Croatian Ph.D student (presumably he’s now a Doctor as the book I was reading containing his essay is a few years old now).
Basically it’s an extension of another concept, hyper-reality, which was concieved by the postmodern media theorist Jean Baudrillard (who pops up quite a bit when it comes to weird sounding theories and philosophies).
Hyper-reality basically means that it is no longer possible, in a media-saturated world, to distinguish between what is real and what is not. Hyper-reality, therefore, is a situation in which nothing and everything is ‘real’; it is a situation in which we have lost the ability to distinguish reality and fiction.
Think of The Matrix, the idea of you think you’re in the real world but you’re not actually and after a while you lose track of what’s real and what’s not.

Hyperidentity is a bit like this but more personal. You lose track of what your real identity is and what your ‘other’ identity is, i.e. in this case, your game identity. You play MMORPGs for so long that you ‘become’ your game identity, which in some people’s case can be hugely different from their ‘regular’ identity.

Now, throw in a hint of Castells (yet another postmodern theorist) who believes that we live in a network society, and when you throw in MMORPGs, that our identity is defined by our relation to the internet instead of the family, the clan, the tribe or nation which is a mahoosive (to use a very technical term :P) shift from where we used to be as a society.

And just to round off the recipe, I’m throwing in some Jung and a look at the idea of persona and how it affects us all.

So there you go. You asked, you got!

It is now available as a PDF File
Any questions, just give me an email or leave me a comment below. Contact details on the About page. 🙂

5 Thoughts to “Undergrad Dissertation”

  1. Sam

    I have actually just read your dissertation! I’m nosy like that. Fascinating stuff. More, please! 😉 I came across notions of reality, hyper-reality, and Jungian philosophies during my (brief) stint at uni. All very, very interesting to me – great read! Now I want to go and read up some of your references.

    I’ve never played an MMORPG, but a lot of what you reference translates to similar experiences I’ve had with Xbox Live. The notion of hyper-reality (and their benefits, or otherwise) is why I have mixed feelings about games and online communites, but also why I enjoy them so much. I look forward to your postgrad stuff!

    Also, good work on the Marcus Brigstocke bit. I love that quote!

  2. Awesome, it’s ideas that really interest me. Will give this a read later.

  3. Emily

    Hi, did you get an ‘A’ for this? I think it’s very impressive!

  4. Haly

    I wish! I had a low 2.1 mark for it (highest is a 1st in the British Uni system, then 2.1, 2.2 and 3rd).
    Annoying as I’m quite proud of it bt oh well 🙂

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