Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Puppeteers: Eye-shuh

I was inspired by a photography project done by Robbie Cooper where he took pictures of gamers and matched them with their in-game Avatars called "Alter Ego: Avatars and their creators". I thought it was a fantastic idea, so I decided to start a similar project. I'm not sure yet how often this will run, perhaps once a week at first, but I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at the people behind the Avatars, the puppeteers if you will, and why they designed their Avatars the way they did. If you are interested in participating, feel free to email me for details! And now I present to you the very first featured "puppeteer"! 

The girl behind the Avatar!
Badass Brick from Borderlands.
Fallout 3. Yes, this one is from the start of the game.
My original was on Xbox, and it's unplugged
right now so I recreated it. lol

Name/Handle: Eye-shuh

Why did you choose the Avatar(s) you did and what game is it from?

I chose two Avatars for this. The first is from Fallout 3 because it’s one of the few customizations I’ve been able to make where I could try and match my skin color without turning out orange. Most games interpret “tan” as “spray on orange tan” which is a bit frustrating. I’m proud to be a tan skinned half-Arab, and I like my Avatars to show that (yes, I realize I can't choose Arab as an ethnicity from the limited options, but you can still make most of them a nice tan). The second Avatar I chose is not really customizable, but I wanted to include it anyway. This is the character Brick from Borderlands. You can’t make Borderlands characters look any different but you can change their clothing colors. I made my big buff Brick pink. I generally don’t like pink, but for some reason I get a kick out of it when it’s on something unexpected. Example: for Christmas this year I got a 20 gage shotgun with pink camo accents. Thus, my shotgun toting tough guy wears pink.

How do you feel when you play this Avatar? Does it elicit any special emotions, or is it just there to reflect your style?

While the style thing is a big part of it, I would also say that both make me feel powerful. I love that the Fallout 3 customizations, even if you choose to wear make-up, leave your character looking gritty and dangerous and ready for a fight. My Brick makes me feel like I could take on the world--especially an alien one--with how giant I am. He’s easily double the size of a lot of the other characters throughout Borderlands. In real life I am a pretty short and not incredibly strong (working on it!) person. I like to start a video game feeling like if a dude tried to mess with me, I could punch him in the face and end that real quick.

Why do you think you need/like/want to feel that way?

I have an extremely active imagination, pretty bad anxiety, and a general doom and gloom idea of what goes on outside the basement I work in. If zombies ever attacked or a nuclear bomb turned everyone into crazed cannibals, I would probably be the first to go. However, these Avatars give me a little hope that maybe there’s a possibility that I would kick ass after all. I can be as strong as them...after all, I’m the one behind the controls!

Did you try to create your Avatar to look like you actually look or did you make one that looks how you want to look? Why?

For Brick, well, I just think he looks really cool and kinda funny in pink, going back to the whole “unexpected things in pink” thing. For my Fallout 3 character, I tried to make her at least somewhat similar. I like to identify with my video game characters. That tends to be hard for women since we get a lot of giant boob jiggling scantily clad with butt cracks showing characters. My boobs are not giant and I get pretty embarrassed when my belt fails to hold my pants well above my crack. My Fallout 3 character is a well armored half-Arab woman with a strong, toned, not overly stylized body and a fierce look in her eyes. I want her to look at least a little like me because then I can feel like I’m actually in the game punching the crap out of some Deathclaws.

If you could change one thing about Avatar customizations in video games, what would it be?

A tan skin tone that is really tan!


Well, that's it for the first run! I already have another participant ready for next week and several more volunteers. Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see changed or added! I hope this turns out to be an interesting, insightful, and fun project!


  1. This is fantastic! I'm always curious to know why other people pick the character styles they do!

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