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January 20, 2009

Virtual Character

Through the writers and creators of (comic)books, cartoons, animations and games, imaginary figures have been able to develop very real characters. They come alive and especially in electronic games you can interact with them. New communication tools on the Internet, especially Twitter, now seem to bring alive "the biologically challenged"; objects.

The best known is the Phoenix Mars lander currently exploring the surface of the planet Mars and sharing its acts and thoughts. It's bio says it all "I dig Mars!". According to animator Lee Lefever "[..] they gave that little machine a personality on Twitter". It even won three "Twitties" (awards for Twitter messages).
I started a similar blogfeed for VIRVIE's animation's lead figure Virrt. And the latest example is Air Force One (yes, Obama's new ride). Although that one will probably be tweeting "no comment" quite often.

I think the whole thing best resembles a 'Punch and Judy show', but in this case grown-ups are the enthusiast spectators, shouting to the stage.

It does apparently fill a need. People look for human traits in objects, see for example the discussion on 'software with an attitude' on the weblog Signal vs. Noise.
All of the above examples have humans behind them of course, but even that might change in the future. This evolution is already in progress judging from the BIOMODD installation by Angelo Vermeulen. So watch out ;-)

Posted by Almar at January 20, 2009 11:44 AM


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