Gilles Deles : anthropological and cultural figures in the game world of warcraft

The universe of the popular network game World of Warcraft is characterized by the originality of cultural references it uses and recomposes, but also by the virtual use of animist thought. These anthropological components like mana, totem animal, or demons were once vectors of fear and social distance as Freud analyzed in Totem and taboo. They are now commonly used objects for the player’s avatar in virtual reality. In a similar way, science and technology occupy a special status which is in many ways similar to the ancient Presocratic metaphysics.
The analysis of these symbolic dimensions and the ethical considerations involved are keys to a better understanding of what holds the player’s interest in his avatar, and may be tools for adults and therapists.

Adolescence, 2009, T. 27, n°3, pp. 601-609.