Avatars and their Creators

Caught this story on NPR


and went to the art exhibit that it was talking about.


Interesting to see the folks behind the pixels.

FYI - that hot chick? A fat Korean dude.


spoke too soon![/CENTER]

That’s really neat. I like some of the conclusions you can jump to by the comparisons, but unfortunately the images are so small that the text description is unreadable.

Cool article. :)

That’s because they want you to buy the book. ;)


I was hoping to see more than the few pictures they put on the site, and the captions are completely unreadable.
I’ll definately look for the book over at Powell’s.

I was thinking bout my own avatars, if I can create them its usually me - incredibly muscled bald dude with a goatee, well bald dude with a goatee anyway. Or the hottest chick I can make. I doubt that really reveals too much about me.

“It says I have blue, but I decided I wanted grey eyes!”

The woman in question is actually a famous transsexual singer in Korea.

D’oh! I think DJ Krush did a song with her actually.

This also new from those cutting-edge folk from NPR!!

July 23, 2007
‘Guitar Hero’ Game Earns a Following

That’s a pretty cool project. The one of the kid with the breathing apparatus was kind of a stunner, in that his avatar seems like an extension of how he sees himself. Kinda choked me a up a little.

According to this, he’s actually in his 30s.

Laugh out Loud, EverQuest kid.

I heard this piece on NPR yesterday and checked around and found some more pictures:

here and here

The most interesting part, and it’s what I talked about a bit on my site, what your avatars says about you, not how it looks compared to you. Or the why people create specific avatars and how they get treated because of it. Very interesting stuff.

I guess it’s mainly an art book, but I winder if Cooper makes any distinction between MMO games and single player games wherein you can customize the main chracter’s appearance. It seems like there’s something fundamentally different between creating an alter ego that will interact with others online in a “social” context, and one which won’t. I’m not sure how to define the difference, but making an avatar for WoW is pretty different from creating one for Tony Hawk or GTA, and some of the portraits in the book are of avatars in offline games.

On an intuitive level I suspect most people fashion the “Ideal Me” avatar for single player games. You, but hotter. I loved having virutual me take a walk with Luca Brasi in Godfather.

I don’t have a ton of MMO experience, but Ill bet folks more often go more fanciful for MMO’s. To free one to act the fool or to help roleplay. I’m guessing the genderswitching thing is to generally make the long long level grinds a little more enjoyable. Its also probably the same instinct to not use your real name for internet message board posts, to keep your RW identity seperate from your game world one.

Side note, can you really make 200 bucks a month selling stuff in Second Life? Or is that basically, if you got in when land was cheap and brands hadn’t formed yet, but now don’t even think about it?

Yeah, I’d say creating a character to play in an MMO is very different than one in a single player game. In a single player game you can play the ugliest/prettiest SOB/nice guy and no one gives a shit. It’s just a computer game.

But in an MMO, how your character looks and acts defines you. Which means you can reinvent yourself if you desire, you can create characters that are like you or not, you can be a different person or a more attractive person, or just try to get some respect you don’t feel you get in RL. All with instant feedback from other actual people (well, their version of themselves online :D)

Plus, as most people aren’t 100% in touch with everything about themselves, when you create your and play your avatar, you’re giving things away about yourself most likely.

I think this is only going to get more involved as we can become more customized in our virtual characters, abilities, looks and possessions. It’s going to be interesting at the very least.

And I probably still be playing a dwarf if the game has an option to do so. Because I love me dwarves! I fear to ask what that says about me.

I suspect that people craft game avatars in different ways for different reasons. For instance, while I know that some people see their in-game avatar as sort of a digital version of themselves, I see them more as characters, like the protagonist in a book. I have no problem choosing character types, genders, and personalities that in no way mirror my own.

Sure, but when you do that, you affect your character with your choices, your leanings, etc. Your characters say something about you… Or so the theory goes.

Kinda like playing poker with someone and figuring out their tic. It’s all there to see if you know where to look. I think.

Yeah, that’s true. I mean, I like some types of characters better than others, obviously, just as I like some books better than others. I’m sure all that says something about my personality.