Considering Usernames, Avatars and Identity


We’re exploring the way that usernames and avatars in online space connect to issues of identity in our Digital Literacies workshop program for high school students. Yesterday, as part of their “writing into the day,” students mulled over and wrote about the usernames they invented for themselves in Gamestar Mechanic. I popped their usernames into a Word Cloud (including my own) as a visual way to show the names.

Our questions were:

  • What username did you choose?
  • Why did you choose it?
  • How does your username “represent” you as a game designer/game player in this space?

This writing connected to discussions we have been having about avatars, as visual representations, and how choices we make in regards to how we present ourselves to the world have implications around identity. Yeah, this is heady stuff for this group of English Language Learners, and while the class discussions come and go, the writing they are doing is pretty deep and thoughtful.

Here, for example, are some Lego Avatars they created before we went into our Bitstrips for Schools and worked with more realistic avatars:
lego collage
Again, we had them reflect in writing some of the choices they made, trying to make visible some of the thought process that we often take for granted. This all connects to digital identity, and digital literacies.

Peace (in the identity),

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