Monday, 30 January 2012

Alter Ego:Avatars and their creators, by Robbie Copper

Robbie Copper has taken a series of portraits to accompany a book release entitled Alter Ego:Avatars and their creators. 
The book takes a look at the virtual computer gaming world that is increasing in popularity and quite strangely value. What does this very notion state about 
the society we live in? As soon as the option of some sort or escapism is made
available to the consumer, it booms. Be that television, film or computer games the consumer seems to love to be taken away from real life and placed into their own non consequential and often voyeuristic environment. 
So is this "next step" to virtual reality a good thing? Or is it a step to 
virtual reality junkies? which surely is inevitable if the technology advances 
enough. The thought of the Matrix is often thought of as far fetched, This body of work helps discuss and propose the prospects that the robot aliens in the Matrix may be far fetched but are simply not needed, we will put ourselves in that 
"Plato's Cave" environment voluntarily.

Below is a very interesting read giving details of the information 
the book discusses.

Over 10 million players worldwide? Virtual co-branding deals with Coca Cola China, and annual revenues in excess of $1 billion a year — in real money! Real sweat shops in East Asia with hundreds of paid gamers earning points and skills and cyber possessions to sell (for real money) to less agile or impatient players. Real world real estate investors switching to cyberspace because the real estate market is more lucrative online?!! These are not all antisocial geek nerds; many of these are people are finding purpose, meaning, and livelihoods in completely fabricated worlds.

The true insight and understanding comes from the 62 profiles of the gamers themselves. As the publisher, Chris Boot, says, “Alter Ego explores the personal and social identities being shaped in the metaverse at the beginning of the 21st century. Portraits of online gamers and virtual-world participants from America, Asia and Europe are paired with images of their avatars, with profiles of real-world and virtual characters. This book is both an entertainment and a serious look at a phenomenon that is shaping the future of human interaction.”

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