Me, myself, and my avatar - a semiotic study into digital transformation via avatars
Keywords:Virtual identity, space, digital self, avatars, hyperreality
The Chinese musical idol show, Dimension Nova, (produced by entertainment company IQIYI) follows the same formula as other shows where a panel of judges choose from a pool of hopefuls to find the best singer. However, the contestants for Dimension Nova are virtual beings. The way these characters are presented, and the way the show is edited, intends for the creations to be the focus of the audience, not the creators behind them. Thus, augmented reality cameras render dances, conversations, performances, and rehearsals for broadcast with the models – or avatars – simulating a mixed reality environment. The audience fantasy is a collaboratively constructed reality – a feat made possible by virtue of the ubiquity of the digital avatar within the zeitgeist of society. The transformation of the avatar from a representation of the user to an individualised entity, interactive and reactive, as we progress from Web 2.0 era to the new Web 3.0 society of omnipresent computing is the focus of this article and is introduced by what I term the “hypervirtual” environment of the future.
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