What Race is Your Avatar?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do you play video games? If so, what color is your avatar? Does it look like you? Or someone or something else entirely? Do you make presumptions about the identities of other players? Do they make them about you? In short, how does identity and race play out in our virtual worlds? Jeff Yang, organized a panel on this topic last week at South By Southwest called "E-Race: Avatars, Anonymity and the Virtualization of Identity." Jeff Yang also writes the Asian Pop column for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wagner James Au was on the panel. In addition to writing about virtual worlds and games on his blog New World Notes, he’s also the author of “The Making of Second Life.”They talk about how we represent ourselves in a virtual world and how this is a safe place to expand our identities.

Guests:

Wagner James Au and Jeff Yang

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [4]

Kim from Dallas, Texas

Of four avatars, I have three female and one male. They are all different colors. One is a little bitty gnome and one is a really really tall Dranei. My main avatar is a purple, Night Elf, healer with long pointy ears - which I wouldn't say reflects how I look (but she certainly has my personality!)

Mar. 24 2011 08:51 PM
Liv from Hartsville

My avatars are always darker, they never really have my skin tone-I either end up pink, yellow or brown. So I choose brown.

Mar. 24 2011 05:39 PM
Robert Wilson from Oklahoma City, OK

I'm A 39yo Afro-American and most MMORPG's don't even have any afro-american likeness at all, i've been a gamer for over 10 years and only a few games even give an option to look like me, or even close. The closest thing i came to it, is a lankey coffe color or near-grey Elvan male.
For me there is not much choice in showing how awesome i really am.

Mar. 24 2011 11:11 AM
Lorenzo from Lubbock, TX

What is a Hockenberry and could I make a pie or cobbler out of it?

--Lorenzo

Mar. 24 2011 08:59 AM

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