Avatars and their real selves – now in a book

In Sanskrit, an “avatar” is the incarnation or manifestation of a higher being. In other words, a god takes a temporary form on Earth. Like many ideas, this idea has been sucked into the virtual world, and ever since Ultima IV, the online iconic versions of ourselves have been called “avatars”.

Back in October, a photo exhibition revealed the avatars and the real people behind them. The Alter Ego display was the first of its kind in the UK. For photojournalist Robbie Cooper, it was a look into the self-images that people create. Now, there’s a book called “Alter Ego: Avatars and Their Creators.”

avatars - Image 1avatars - Image 2avatars - Image 3avatars - Image 4

According to the description we found at Amazon, “‘Alter Ego’ is a cool concept book, presenting the phenomenon of the contemporary avatar… Portraits of gamers from the United States, Europe, China, and Japan (including leading figures of the gaming world) are paired with digital images of their alter egos, graphically dramatizing the gap between fantasy and reality.”

It’s a lot more than that though. If you take the pictures of the characters and their avatars side by side, you’ll also see a side of humanity we never get to see: it’s the side we envision as something that could be true.

It’s the side that shows us what we want ourselves to be, whether it be the ideal form of who we are physically or mentally, or simply a form that is far more whole than the body we were given in the real world. Like it or not, we’re far from perfect in the real world, and the games we play help to bring out, or at least help in letting people experiment with, the kind of people they want to be. That’s definitely food for thought meant for gamers.

In Sanskrit, an “avatar” is the incarnation or manifestation of a higher being. In other words, a god takes a temporary form on Earth. Like many ideas, this idea has been sucked into the virtual world, and ever since Ultima IV, the online iconic versions of ourselves have been called “avatars”.

Back in October, a photo exhibition revealed the avatars and the real people behind them. The Alter Ego display was the first of its kind in the UK. For photojournalist Robbie Cooper, it was a look into the self-images that people create. Now, there’s a book called “Alter Ego: Avatars and Their Creators.”

avatars - Image 1avatars - Image 2avatars - Image 3avatars - Image 4

According to the description we found at Amazon, “‘Alter Ego’ is a cool concept book, presenting the phenomenon of the contemporary avatar… Portraits of gamers from the United States, Europe, China, and Japan (including leading figures of the gaming world) are paired with digital images of their alter egos, graphically dramatizing the gap between fantasy and reality.”

It’s a lot more than that though. If you take the pictures of the characters and their avatars side by side, you’ll also see a side of humanity we never get to see: it’s the side we envision as something that could be true.

It’s the side that shows us what we want ourselves to be, whether it be the ideal form of who we are physically or mentally, or simply a form that is far more whole than the body we were given in the real world. Like it or not, we’re far from perfect in the real world, and the games we play help to bring out, or at least help in letting people experiment with, the kind of people they want to be. That’s definitely food for thought meant for gamers.

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