Alter Egos And Split Personalities - Robbie Cooper Q&A

alteregos.jpg We've already covered Robbie Cooper's book Alter Ego: Avatars and Their Creators, which consists of portraits of people and their online avatars, but the Wall Street Journal has an interesting little Q&A with Cooper and Tracy Spaight, a contributor to the volume. The most discussed question is why - with the theoretical possibilities of virtual worlds - do people stick to the same old, same old?

WSJ.com: Why do we tend to see the same narrative archetypes in these games?

Mr. Cooper: The slightly depressing thing about Second Life is that you can be literally anything you want to be - you have user created content. But if you go in there and look at people, they're pursuing the same old kind of ideal. And it's quite homogenous, which says a lot about how deeply influenced we are by the media, by our culture and by advertising.

Second Life is boring, Korean gamers are reticent to talk about their online other halves, and Alexis de Tocqueville's observations on 19th century America apply to inhabitants of virtual worlds across the globe. The book itself looks like a fascinating snippet of people and their connections to games.

Q&A: Alter Egos [WSJ Online]


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