Monday, June 8, 2009

Pod People!

Recently I was invited to present at the University of Bedfordshire's Under the Mask 2009, a conference on the relationship between player and character. Circumstances conspired such that I was unable to go in person, but, age of wonders that we live in, I was able to be broken down into pure digital information and transported through the tubes that comprise The Internet at THE SPEED OF LIGHT. * Thus I was able to be virtually present at an actual presentation on virtuality.

With the help of Bryan Piitz from Georgian Bay Video, I produced this video essay, entitled "Pod People and Swappable Selves: On the Buying an Selling of Avatar." It engages such questions as 'how do players achieve authentic experiences in massively-multiplayer spaces?', 'Can virtual bodies be understood as "genuine?"', and, 'My haircut: is it nice?'

Pod People and Swappable Selves: On the Buying and Selling of Avatar from VideoYEAH on Vimeo.

If you'd just rather have the questions spoiled, the answers are "It's complicated", "Sometimes", and "Sure?"

The paper essay can be read here as a .doc file, along with the other papers presented to the conference. There's some fascinating work on show, and it's my pleasure to have been able to contribute to it.

- Rook

* N.B.: I actually have no idea how the internet works.

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