Examining Identity Exploration in a Video Game Participatory Culture

  • Amanda BaranyEmail author
  • Aroutis Foster
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1112)


To adapt to the needs of a 21st century context, educational researchers and practitioners could benefit from leveraging the potential of virtual learning environments such as games and the participatory cultures that surround them to support learning as a transformational and intentional process of identity exploration. This research offers a theoretically-comprehensive look into how a participant in an online game community forum engaged in identity exploration processes. Publicly-available longitudinal data was downloaded from Kerbal Space Program (KSP) players, which informed the development of an illustrative case study selected to elucidate how individual processes of identity exploration manifest. Lines of player data were deductively coded as representative of identity exploration and visualized using Epistemic Network Analysis to represent shifts in integration of identity constructs over time. Findings suggest that player participation in the community forum can support statistically significant identity change and highlight future areas of research in this field.


Identity exploration Video games Informal learning Epistemic Network Analysis Case study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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