In the UK; 37% of people have played video games in the last 12 months, that’s 21 million people. And almost 90% of 11-year-olds across Europe play video games in some form. According to The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) the average gamer is 30 years old and has been playing for at least 12 years, and 68% of gamers are 18 years of age or older (The Entertainment Software Association . (2012). Game player data.Available:http://www.theesa.com/facts/gameplayer.asp. Last accessed 25/02/2013.). With this in mind we can safely say that most people live in both a virtual and real life reality. But what happens if the fine line between the two are blurred?
In focussing on self-representation, I will be exploring my own and four individuals relationship with the notions of fantasy and reality, specifically our relationships with our online alter ego and fantasy characters, each subjects represents a different aspect of a virtual world i.e Anime, online alter ego’s, real life fantasy RPG(role play games) and online RPG. Mariko Mori, David Hill and Trey Ratcliff and Game photographer ‘Dead End Thrills’ create an element of fantasy through their work , especially DET which is photographs taken in games. David Hill and Trey Ratcliff work in HDR, providing a level of aesthetic fantasy that works within the boundaries of Game stills.
A role-playing action video game gives us the opportunity to not only be ourselves, but to amplify the people we want to be. To recreate our self every time we log on and become someone else .When we join a new school or move to a new place it represents an opportunity to recreate ourself’s analagous to online gaming- we are offered an opportunity to be reborn. It this idea of a re-brith that makes me ask is that what attracts so many people to log on? Robbie Cooper explored the idea in his project ‘Alter Ego’s’, “virtual worlds bring people together-online your on common ground” .
Robbie Cooper’s ‘Alter Ego’ project looked at people’s real life and virtual characters comparing the two. I will explore my own and others relationships we have created with our online alter egos and how we bring them into our everyday real world lives. My project explores the notions of self portraiture as a way to look at an enduring virtual persona.
Video games are a form of modern day entertainment. Without them, we lose something very vital to our existence: a gateway outside of ourselves, but with an ever evolving virtual experience what does this mean for the gamers? Already it has changed dramatically from 2D flat spaces to massive online 3D worlds born from ‘World of Warcraft’. As gaming changes so do their players, now it’s not just teenagers visiting online worlds but adults too, adult women currently represent a greater portion of the game playing population (30%) than boys age 17 or younger (18%) (ESA). As a gamer this is territory I’m interested in because as our interactions with the virtual change how will we perceive the real world?It’s this ever changing state that will enable this project to grow with it, allowing me to go further with it and explore how these changes will affect us, the gamers.