Games, Seen on the 'Net


06.20.07 | Comment?

If you stop to think about it, the choices we make for our online avatars are rather fascinating, don’t you think? I was married and had my first kid right around the time MMOs became big, so I never got hooked*. However, I post of probably close to half a dozen forums and lurk on many others. Most forums allow you to upload a custom icon/avatar/call it what you will. Depending on the site, I’ll either use the 12 to Midnight logo or my own smiling face.

However, people who spend hours upon hours each week building online identities through MMOs or Second Life put a lot of thought and heart into their avatars. Do we consciously or subconsciously react to the mask more than the character behind it? Is there a generational gap in which younger players instinctively know to disregard the avatar and read the character of the person doing controlling? When this generation enters adulthood, will they treat interpersonal relationships differently based on their experiences with avatars? It’s certainly interesting to ponder.

While you do so, check out this New York Times website (no subscription required) slideshow of players side-by-side with their online avatars. To a people-watcher such as myself, it’s a fascinating collection that says so much about the players. The short bios below the images describing their ages and home cities are icing on the cake.

*read: couldn’t afford the time nor money

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