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A look in the mirror- AVATARS

Ernest Cline has his characters put a lot of emphasis on their virtual Avatars. The main character himself, creates a second self, feeling more confident in his virtual self than in his own skin. On page 28. the line which struck me to write this post was this: ” A small mirror was mounted inside my locker door and I had caught a glimpse of my virtual self. I’d designed my avatar’s face and body to look more or less, like my own.” After this statement, Wade goes on to describe how he had altered his avatar to look nothing like him, although the avatar is a reflection of an ideal image the protagonist wants.

This idea presented in this book- an obsession with one’s virtual self- is one which can be seen in real life as well. We have a tendency to look for the perfect when we look in the mirror. With all the plastic surgery and photoshop, our society has made us feel that we need to look one way or another in order to feel perfect. Ofcourse- I am not saying that all of us need to create perfect avatars of ourselves in order to boost our self esteem, but it is worth a shot going back memory lane and remembering the time when we had to make an avatar and the choices we made to create it.

My younger sister likes to play a game on Facebook called ‘New in Town.’ It is a game where the player makes his own avatar (A college student) who is literally new in town. The player has to earn money, complete some tasks and make friends. When my sister made her avatar, she made it looking more pretty by making the avatar thinner or giving her longer and more beautiful hair. I told her the avatar looks nothing like her, and she replied “She is me – in a more perfect way.” It surprised me and I wanted to tell her looks aren’t everything, but well our society tells us it is. So when Wade in this books talks about how he corrected his imperfections, I felt that we all do that if we have the chance.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “A look in the mirror- AVATARS

  1. With the ability to make one’s self whatever the user wants, why would someone like his crush make herself real. It is interesting when people transfer themselves over into a game because they like who they are and who they want to be. In maslow’s hierarchy of needs the steps to gain ranks in the pyramid is to satisfy these necessities:

    physiological
    safety
    love
    self-esteem
    self-actualization
    self-transcendence

    Without the one before it, it’s difficult to proceed and gain higher understanding. For the girl, she must have the physiological necessities, food and water, and safety, possibly a house or stack, love from someone maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend or family, and then she has the self-esteem to show off who she is and not who she wishes she was. It is a psychological need to have the ones before and for Parcival it is difficult to gain self-esteem when he is struggling for safety let alone love.

    Posted by jbort94 | June 20, 2013, 2:39 pm
  2. You are stating that Wade aka Parcival’s lack of self esteem stems from the fact that he does not have a home or food to eat or clothes to wear, whereas Samantha aka Artemis is one of the few characters who looks a lot like her avatar, stems from the fact that she must be well fed and loved. This is interesting to think about this in terms of Maslow’s pyramid. I have not read Maslow but a quick wikipedia search told me what I need to know- kind of. I am still confused would you explain further on this topic as it sounds interesting!

    Posted by aditipre | June 20, 2013, 5:34 pm
  3. I totally agree that we look for the perfect in our real lives as well as in the Oasis. In real life, unless we want to pay for plastic surgery, we are stuck in the skin we are born with and for some people thats tough to understand. Society makes it so hard for us to accept who we are and what we look like because they throw images of what they think “perfect” is in our faces every single day. I look at the Oasis as an escape from reality. While that includes escaping every day problems that we just don’t want to think about, for some people it may include escaping from themselves. I’m not saying that I think this is healthy by any means, but for people like Wade and Art3mis, they create avatars that do not look much like themselves because they do not want to be themselves in this virtual world. I think that’s why Art3mis refuses to want Wade to meet her in real life because she likes who she is in her virtual world and does not want her real life self to be seen. I also just want to add; we would all correct our imperfections if we had the chance, but in my opinion, for every imperfection we fix, society will find another one. Perfection is impossible.

    Posted by sierrasu | June 21, 2013, 1:02 am

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