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In Kids & Family

Choi Seang Rak and his avatar Uroo Ahs.

In Kids & Family

Jason Rowe and his alter ego Rurouni Kenshin.

"Alter Ego" -- Who are you online?


Everyone has at least one component of their life that they wish they could change or make better. It can be anything -- from a lack of love, a lack of friends, the way they look, or any other major or minor aspect of their life. Some people secretly wish they could become someone else, escape their own reality and begin life anew.

Today, many people are doing just that, albeit electronically, via the world of online gaming. With games such as "City of Heroes," "World of Warcraft," "Second Life," "Evercraft" and many others, they are able to transcend their own reality and in essence, create an alternate, virtual life.

In the book "Alter Ego -- Avatars and Their Creators" published by Chris Boot Ltd. Publishing -- authors Robbie Cooper, Julian Dibbell and Tracy Spaight offer more than 60 examples of individuals and a few couples who gave birth to their own virtual avatar, diving headlong into the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) world. Avatars are the individualized characters created and controlled by the player.

This intriguing book details the individual as well as his / her created avatar. The person is pictured on one page, with a picture of the avatar on the opposing page. Below the picture of the person, is information such as name, occupation, gaming hours per week, the game that they play and a few miscellaneous others. Under the picture of the avatar is a description of the avatar, why said avatar was made, his / her abilities and other pertinent information regarding the avatar, the person or the game. The people highlighted by this book vary greatly, providing a plethora of occupations, ages and interests.

Mirror or Fantasy?

While many create characters that are completely different form themselves, there are some who enjoy making their avatar an almost mirror image of themselves. One example is Kimberly Rufer-Bach, whose avatar in "Second Life" is named Kim Anubis. Kim Anubis reflects her creator, as they both are seen wearing blue shirts, khakis and brown sandals. They have the same glasses and similar hairstyles. In her description, Kimberly states her reason for creating this avatar.

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Talkbacks

littletinyfish | Dec. 29, 2007 at 2:46 p.m. (report)

I play City of Heroes. My main character is Cowboy Coffee, a cowboy/demon combo who wields a powerful gun and has mastery of fire.

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