Saturday, November 21, 2009

The avatar: your real body guide


This is too cool. Avatar Machine by Marc Owens is a system which replicates the aesthetics and visuals of third person gaming, allowing the user to view themselves as a virtual character in real space via a head mounted interface.

Basically you walk in the everyday world, wearing glasses that provide an exclusive replica of you as an avatar, as in role playing gaming environment. It must be unreal to try it on when you have spent hours role playing games in a row. I actually love the designer's hypothesis: "The system potentially allows for a diminished sense of social responsibility, and could lead the user to demonstrate behaviors normally reserved for the gaming environment." I am not sure about the diminution of sense of responsibility, but it might help the ones who have sensory difficulties in the physical world.

Definitely a project I will refer to in my PhD, talking about playing with visual perspectives, when one can walk in the everyday world from the point of view of her avatar, one might feel more "secure", with new new sense of body limits gained from an interaction with her virtual games experience. That reminds me of the movie Ben X, where the main actor transfers his interaction in the virtual world to help him interact with the physical world.

Anyway, great project!

A video

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