Filed Under #performingavatars

Avatar Creation System Self Portraits

I scanned Lin and Lin scanned me and it took us several tries to get a decent scan.

Even in my final scan, you can see that the carpet has fused inbetween my legs and one of the arms is a bit messy. alt text

Written on September 18, 2018

Avatar Creation System Self Portraits

MapleStory

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I feel that this avatar is an accurate representation of me. Despite the simplistic and cartoony look of the art style, it is easy to get quite detailed in your expression of yourself and create an original looking character. I think this is due to the large amount of assets available. This avatar system is originally from MapleStory, a Korean MMORPG from the mid-2000s. I used a fan-made designer website, “MapleStory: Design” , so I could use all items (including cash items). A lot of the options in this game have fantasy and anime elements. For my self portrait, I tried to keep a balance between realism (using clothes I actually own and wear) and the more outlandish options (the computer pod).

The Sims 4

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Although this avatar is 3D and comes from a game with a more realistic style, I feel like it is less representative of me due it’s failure to emulate some of my key facial features. I had trouble getting the facial sliders to make my nose shape and eye shape. I also only used items from the official Sims 4 games and no custom content. This severly limited the choice of hairstyles, makeup, and clothing items. With the more realistic art style, it’s easier to tell the differences between this avatar and myself. The part that made this avatar feel the most like a self portrait is choosing “traits” for my sim at the end. I chose gloomy, perfectionist, and materialistic. I feel like this combination gave my sim a unique personality.

Discussion Questions

From “The Psychology of Video Game Avatars”: “Other researchers have found that the ability to create idealized versions of ourselves is strongly connected to how much we enjoy the game, how immersed we become, and how much we identify with the avatar.” I’m interested in hearing about other people in the class’s experience with this. I think this is why I’ve always enjoyed playing Asian games vs. Western ones with avatar customization. Most Western games don’t have options to recreate asian facial features (especially eyes and nose). Although the depictions of asian women in asian games are still hypersexualized and not how I see myself, just being able to have a more accurate likeness of your facial features makes the playing experience more enjoyable.

Written on September 9, 2018