Bae Kyun-Eun is Persia
"Bae plays a man because she thinks that male avatars have more charisma, she wants to 'project strength', and all the 'masters' in the game have male avatars.

She says if she had to play the game alone she wouldn't bother.

Initially, she was attracted to it because she thought it looked beautiful, but the social element has become part of her life. Her guild meets up regularly."

Photojournalist Robbie Cooper captured images of gamers and their real-life selves. Here are their stories.

Seang Rak Choi is Uroo Ahs
"Choi is a professor of public policy and law. His character Uroo Ahs buys and sells item in the game world, even when he isn't there, running on scripts he writes for her.
He makes spreadsheets analysing different variables within the game and believes that using a little girl avatar helps in negotiations.

So far he's amassed game items worth 150m Adena, the virtual currency in the game." (Robbie Cooper)

Bill is Shipwreck
"Bill transports gold bullion for the federal reserve.
In the evenings he logs on at wi-fi enabled truck stops and travels across virtual galaxies in his virtual space ship.

He says the game involves learning to use the ship to the best of your ability, building a multitude of skills to help you survive in a hostile universe.

So far hes been lucky and hes making so much money that hes planning on just putting in a couple more years before retiring." (Robbie Cooper)

Mark is Marcos Fonzarelli
"Mark is a graphic designer and in his spare time creates robot avatars for sale in Second Life. He makes steady side income of $200 a month.
It's a niche market. If he was producing clothing for female avatars hed be making much more.

But he isnt looking to make a living from it just yet. He believes that the skills hes learning in the game will one day be very valuable as more and more of the internet becomes 3D." (Robbie Cooper)

Character Data Sets and Parameterized Morality


An enterprising World or Warcraft player is offering up his or her "photographic" skills in-game, creating portraits of player-characters and selling them for 40 gold apiece. Affordable only to the level 60s, this comes at just the right time for when you've got all that epic (YAY! EPIX!!) gear and you want to capture that moment forever...


You might not see some of these fashions on the catwalks of Paris, New York, or Milan, but these are the fashions female gamers might find themselves wearing ingame!

We hope to find the good, the bad, the ugly, and a few ones that just give us a laugh! If you find any ingame fashions you want to share, just drop us an e-mail with the image to

xs magazine "games fashion" NPC ...

Chung's land, her beautifully appointed home, the steam rising from the teacups -- they don't exist. Or rather, they exist only as pixels dancing on the computer screens of people who inhabit the online virtual world called Second Life. Anshe Chung is an avatar, or onscreen graphic character, created by a Chinese-born language teacher living near Frankfurt, Germany.

The Land Baroness
Avatar Anshe Chung was created by a Chinese-born language teacher living near Frankfurt, Germany. She keeps her real identity private, but that hasn't stopped her and her imaginary self from creating what may be Second Life's biggest business. Chung has amassed virtual real estate and cash assets inside Second Life worth about $250,000. She buys land wholesale from Second Life operator Linden Lab, and then develops it, resells it, or rents it out. She's known as the Rockefeller of Second Life.

What Is an Avatar? People have long taken on alternative identities, from authors sly noms de plume to CB radio operators evocative handles to chat-room visitors sexually suggestive user names. But in the last few years, technology has expanded the possibilities. Today, a teenager will communicate in the voice of two personaeone transmitted over cell phone and the other via instant messagingto the same friend at the same time. An unattractive, shy man will transform himself into the sexiest and most aggressive guyor, not uncommonly, girlon the virtual block. A Web surfer may change her persona every time she enters one of the hundreds of three-dimensional chat rooms. Like the ancient rite of the bal masqu?, modern technology helps people realize a deep-seated desire to experience what it would feel like to be someone else. In the words of a famous New Yorker cartoon showing mans best friend sitting at a computer screen: On the Internet, nobody knows youre a dog. The avatar is the most conspicuous online manifestation of peoples desire to try out alternative identities or project some private aspect of themselves. (The word, which originally described the worldly incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, was popularized in its cybersense by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 cult novel Snow Crash.) Broadly defined, avatar encompasses not only complex beings created for use in a shared virtual reality but any visual representation of a user in an online community. For example, more than 7 million people have created Yahoo avatars, simple but personalized cartoon-like characters used as pictorial signatures in activities ranging from instant messaging to fantasy sports. The experience of living through an alternative self is the most powerful, though, in virtual worlds, sometimes calledtake a breathmassively multiplayer online role-playing games. In these environments, someones avatar, or av, can evolve from a being created using standard character and appearance options initially offered to new users into a unique and richly developed individual. Avatars are endowed with mannerisms, skills, and wardrobes that their users create (employing a variety of software tools), purchase (from in-world shops), receive as gifts (from other avatars), or earn (through in-game achievements). Indeed, while avatars anonymity is part of their appeal, many people take considerable pride in their creations as public expressions of hidden aspects of their identities. Those who dont have the time or desire to enhance their avatars on their own spend a combined total of more than $100 million a year on Internet auction sites for skills and accessoriesdigital weapons earned or crafted by others, for examplethat can improve their avatars presence and performance in a particular world. Movies are even made in these worlds, using computer game technology, a form of filmmaking dubbed machinima. Avatars take on scripted roles, thus creating in these plays within plays characters that are two steps removed from their real-life creators. You might call them avatars avatars. The online worlds populated by avatars come in many forms but can basically be divided into two types. The most popular by far are combat-focused games, such as EverQuest, Lineage, and World of Warcraft: The latter alone claims more than 6 million paying subscribers. Other virtual worlds, even if they include game-like elements, primarily offer the opportunity for social interaction. In these worldsplaces like Second Life and Entropia Universe, aimed at adults, and the more teen-oriented There, the Sims Online, and Habbo Hotelusers customize not only themselves but also their environments and experiences, decorating personal living spaces or running their own events. The settings are more realistic than those in the typical sci-fi or fantasy combat game. Though you often need to pay a monthly subscription to get the full experienceto buy your own land in Second Life, for instance, or to sell virtual items youve made in Therethe operators of many of these social virtual worlds recently have allowed people to join and explore the worlds for free. This approach has boosted the sites membership numbers. Second Life currently has around 65,000 paying subscribers and another 100,000 nonpaying members with fewer in-world privileges, according to Linden Lab, the company that developed and runs that world. In such worlds, people often have more than one avatar. And these can differ substantially from one another and from the creators public self. Gender switching is common, as is the exaggeration of sexual characteristics. Some of these worlds have communities of nonhuman avatarsfor example, furries, animal-like beings that often reflect their real-life creators strong psychological associations with certain animal types. One Second Life avatar, a well-muscled and spiky-haired male named wilde Cunningham, represents a group of people who are severely physically disabled in real life. And avatars can take on lives of their own: Because of real-world news reports about their virtual-world activities as community gadflies or wealthy entrepreneurs, avatars sometimes become better known than their creators. Living in the skin of an avatarlooking out through its eyes and engaging with other beings, themselves avatars of flesh-and-blood individualscan be an intense experience. Though in most worlds avatars dont eat, sleep, or use the bathroom, serious relationships are formedavatars adopt avatar children, numerous virtual-world relationships lead to real-world marriagesand land ownership sparks sometimes nasty disputes over property rights. Put it all together and you have an avatar that is not a puppet but a projection of some aspect of the creators self, says Philip Rosedale, founder and CEO of Linden Lab.
About the Wild Games All the wild games have certain common elements, which I shall introduce here: Each wild game is about being a particular animal. The abilities and behaviours of the animals will be presented in a manner that feels real to the player (it does not have to be perfectly factual in basis, provided the illusion of reality is provided to the player, although I intend to aim for realism for the most part) There will be no use of language, except perhaps a narrator for tutorial purposes. The player will have a choice between playing in Utopia, in which there are no predators (the toyplay version), and playing Survival, in which the player must face predators appropriate to the animal they are playing (the gameplay version). The main activities available to the player are feeding, playing and mating, all presented in a manner appropriate to the animal in question. For social animals, playing may involve expressing dominance and submission, and thus determining the social structure of the family unit. Each wild game will also come with an environment editor, to allow people to create their own play spaces.