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.