What does the digital you look like?

You know I chose this picture of Anna for the leopard print. SMASH MALICE!

You know I chose this picture of Anna for the leopard print. SMASH MALICE!

Jezebel has a piece today on avatars which reminded me of a post that I’ve been wanting to write for ages but hadn’t figured out how to screencap. For those of you who play video games where you get to create your look, do you make yourself look as real as possible or go with the fantasy? For me, I’ve always tried to make my video character as much like me as possible – which meant choosing the sole female character in Streets of Rage back on the old Sega Master System, or playing Anna or Jun in Tekken. My mii on my wii is as round and tall as I can make her, and although I have friends whose miis are absolute copies of their faces, mine is the best I can make it. When I play Rockband with Amy, my avatar is as fat as she can get (not very) and I choose clothes that I’d probably wear. Admittedly, my avatar’s hair is a fiercer red than I can normally manage with my own, but still. And my Guitar Hero avatar has her curves bumped all the way up, which means I get mesmerised by her juicy round ass, even though my own butt is pretty flat. I’m sure there’s some psychology at play here about escapism versus umm oh I don’t know, some other concept, and there’s a lot to be said about the total lack of reality in video games (was anyone else incredibly disturbed by how the news about the shootings on the American army base yesterday featured a totally unnecessary 3D animation clip of the shooter bursting into a room and opening fire that looked just like a video game?) but for now, I’d just like to hear about how you play the games you play…

5 Comments  to  What does the digital you look like?

  1. Bad Tom says:

    The last time I created an avatar in a video game, it looked nothing like me. It had six legs, wings and horns, because it was in Spore.

    But seriously, even if it weren’t a question of body image (and I’d certainly be tempted to edit out my gut and grey hairs in any avatar of mine), I don’t think I’d go out of my way to make my avatar look anything like me, even regarding race or gender as much as body type. For something like a Mii I can see the point of being recognisable, but in most video games my character would be doing something that I’d never do in real life (fighting, driving, flying or playing sports), so why limit myself to looking like I really do?

  2. Amy says:

    My avatars are a mix. I used to play The Sims soooo much, and at first I’d try to make them look like me which is too hard, so then I’d just make them look cool. My Rock Band avatar started out a bit like me but then I got bored and changed. And my Wii Mii is just way cute, as short and plump as I could make her.
    When I first started playing games with avatars I was really self conscious, but I think my progression to now being so comfortable with making digital versions of me is a real sign of getting over myself.

  3. johubris says:

    but in most video games my character would be doing something that I’d never do in real life (fighting, driving, flying or playing sports), so why limit myself to looking like I really do?

    That’s interesting point Tom. I guess for me because mostly all I play is Rockband, I’d like to think that a fat girl can look hot and rock the fuck out, like, for realsies. If that makes sense. And of course by “a fat girl” I mean me, because of course there are fat girls already who totally rock out already.

  4. Bad Tom says:

    It’s about a decade since I’ve played much in the way of video games, and back then most of the games I played either had a fixed character or none at all (e.g. first-person games), so making an avatar look like me wasn’t really an issue. I got used to the fact that I don’t look like Solid Snake or Lara Croft or some nameless marine.

    I guess if I had to choose an avatar now, I would take the option to try being someone different. One might even say that every time I dress up in real life I’m making up an avatar and trying out being someone else!

  5. Sarina says:

    On WoW my main character looks a lot like me, and I change her hair colour etc when I change my own. My other characters I just make look pretty. I’m the same when I play the sims, I try and make one that looks like me, then I like making ones that look like characters etc.

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