I’ve been letting the boy play with the new iPad from work for a little while on most days – he’s got several games he likes, but none as much as Minecraft. This led to what I consider a critical revelation in regards to awareness of self, games, etc.: He’d been playing in straight POV mode for quite awhile, when one day recently he accidentally turned on the “third person” view, where you’re provided with a character to move around inside the game.
“What’s this guy?” he asked.
“That’s you, buddy – that’s the guy you’re pretending to be in the game. He’s your avatar.”
There was a pause, then, “OHHH – that’s *me*. I’m in Minecraft, doing all this stuff!”
Up until that point, I think he was seeing everything in the game as sort of a video, which would change slightly every time he pressed the screen. Realizing that it was himself the whole time, interacting with this pretend world, blew his wonderful little mind. He totally digs the concept of the avatar, and has been playing around with it ever since. For instance: watching him walk around in a somewhat robotic way, I ask, “What are you doing, buddy?”
“I’m my avatar, walking around in this room, doing things.”