Kelly Boudreau has suggested that a new identity is fashioned as a player plays an avatar- a hybrid of the two. The linked video portrays Batman as playing himself . While the clip is essentially advertising for a Wii game, it does let us think about what it would be like to play oneself, an unusual but plausible situation.
For myself, when I see Wii players pretending to play tennis, or jive to Rock Band, I see the same impulses, perhaps attenuated as drove prehistoric humans to paint animals on cave walls, and to dance hunting dances. Aren’t RPGs and FPS at the base an attempt to capture”magic”. As a daddy, I will never be a “Big Daddy” but it is nice to pretend.
That pretending seems to be at the core of why we communicate through artistic means. Perhaps because that level of communication that we desire is impossible or worse, too horrible to be expressed directly. So we text, and game and write notes and dance our fears and longings. We create our hybrid selves(Kelly is onto something) and send them out to represent ourselves.
“It would be a great project to tie gaming to this art historical truism — the history of pretending, the history of pretense or dissimulation… it would be very different from the history of copying and the history of simulation (which is where games usually fit) – (see Hillel Swartz – the culture of the copy – very cool book)”- Bart
As digital games are both new, and formally different from other media(dance, TV, painting, ceramics, and so on) we need new ways of talking about them. This in turn creates new aesthetics. How does this sound- the painter and the painting are a Boudrean hybrid?