The Idea Dude

CONNECTING THE DOTS ONE AT A TIME

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Excuse me, while I change into my avatar

If you thought Second Life was a passing fad think again. Nintendo introduced the Mii channel which lets you create customizable characters that you can use in games. You can create up to 100 Miis and carry them in your Wii Remote and swop them with friends and appear in their games. Sony is introducing Home, a 3D, avatar-based social environment available for users of the Playstation 3 network.

Role-playing games has been with us as long as I can remember, it allows us to escape our world and become heroes for a moment in time. BTW: one of the best I've seen so far is God of War II, with terrific seamless gameplay, incredible graphics and a good storyline. The difference has always been that you adopted the persona of the character that was created by the game company, i.e. you would be The God of War, Shrek, or one of the Mario brothers etc. Your ability to change the character was primarily limited to costume changes or weapons. Today with Second Life, Mii and others, you are not longer given a priori choices. You essentially mold the character and avatar to your personality or the personality that want the avatar to reflect. With the newer games coming this year, a few will take your picture and mold it onto the face of your character.

Is all of this not just a digital manifestation of what we used to do at masquerade balls or as children we would pretend to be our favorite superhero, or the policeman or the fireman? or even being like Dad or Mom. Role playing has been part of our lives in some form, what digital worlds have done has blurred the boundaries between fantasy and reality. Perhaps, the next thing you'll see is watching a movie and seeing yourself as one of the actors, far fetched? Not really...

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