Alden’s ITP Home

Two Avatars

Part of my interest in digital avatars stems from their existence for me as a place of identity building and actualization. Being able to create and visualize new images of myself has been empowering and intoxicating force (additionally for several years, until I was banned, I [consciously and intentionally, rather than through workaday self-curation] treated my Facebook as a sandbox identity separate from my physical meat body, which I think made me both alluring and confusing to acquaintances). *I actually got quite good Now that I’m not really on Facebook I have more free time to play Stardew Valley. The pixel graphics give off an intense affective adorableness but the farmland setting evokes work and capable labor. This well fits my most consistent vision of myself: cute but capable. I have a few different save files in this game but this time I created a character with the intent of fitting closely my current self-image of the moment. *I actually got quite good I think I did a pretty good job. I love the number of clothes and hair options and the customizability of the pants and eye colors. Usually in building a game character I feel very constrained by the clothing options, but here there is plenty to choose from. Speaking of clothing options I hated the clothes in Adobe Fuse. *I actually got quite good I can see that for the most part these clothes and characters were designed with a something like a FPS video game aesthetic in mind. Again, the hairstyles… not great. It feels very constraining. I feel like the avatar here I made leans more on tropes of maybe cyberpunk detective than on my self-image. Not that I don’t want to be a cyberpunk detective, that sounds extremely cool.

As for class discussion from the reading… many of the readings dealt with issues around self / other divides, “what constitutes me and what separates me from everything else?”. Having been educated in kind of a poststructuralist milieu and living in an economy demanding constant flexibility and elasticity I don’t typically think of myself as having strong fixity or strong boundaries, and I’m curious how everyone else feels about it. How does your sense of self change over time and in different contexts? Is there a consistent narrative through-line in your life?