The Destiny of the Virtual in Adolescence

Images of the Virtual
By Xanthie Vlachopoulou, Florian Houssier

How might we explain the attraction of adolescents or of young adults to digital worlds and, particularly, the privileged use of new types of communication by distance that have been made possible by the evolution of technology?In this paper we seek to explain the important investment of adolescents in these new practices from a psychoanalytical point of view. To this end, we review the central issues of the adolescent process by comparing them to the characteristics of a game that is a significant example of virtual worlds, the online role-playing games. Based on the use of these games, our hypothesis suggests that the privileged choice of the virtual world could be related to the psychological work which characterises the adolescence process, especially in terms of narcissistic shoring up.


  • digital worlds
  • adolescent process
  • psychological work
  • virtual
  • narcissistic shoring up
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