Alter Ego reveals the people behind their avatars

by: Randy -
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The computer screen is the most effective identity-masking device ever created, and MMOs have become the largest masquerades on the planet.  Who's behind the masks in massively multiplayer games?  In Alter Ego, a new hardcover book available through Amazon, the answers might surprise you -- either through the drastic differences or the glaring similarities -- between you and these individuals behind (in front of?) the monitor.  Preview Alter Ego: Avatars and Their Creators, then realize that there's no other book like this right now for MMO gamers, then realize that $29.95 is a workable price for 138 pages and 140 color photos of this unique concept.

Alter Ego is a cool concept book, presenting the phenomenon of the
contemporary avatar (the virtual characters gamers choose and design to
engage in online virtual worlds). Portraits of gamers from the United
States, Europe, China, and Korea (including leading figures of the gaming
world) are paired with images of their alter egos, graphically dramatizing
the gap between fantasy and reality.
With an introduction by one of digital culture's leading observers, and a
glossary of relevant terms, each of the seventy pairs of images are
accompanied by detailed profiles and engaging stories about the person
behind the keyboard. Sometimes hilarious and always visually exciting, Alter
Ego is both a guide to the new world of the avatar and a serious
contribution to the debate about the future of society in the digital age.

Images from Alter Ego have been exhibited at galleries in London, Amsterdam,
Paris, Stockholm, and Berlin. The portraits were recently exhibited in
Second Life and are currently on display at the Portland Arts Center through
June 30, 2007.

The book is now available through and Barnes & Noble. For more
information and images, please visit

About the Book:

Publication date: June 2007
Retail price $29.95
Binding: Hardcover (with lenticular double image)
Extent: 160 pages
Trim size: 12 x 5.75 inches, 305 x 145 mm
Extent: 138 pages
Photographs: 140 color
Design: Studio8 Design
ISBN 10: 1-905712-02-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-905712-02-1

About the Authors:

Robbie Cooper was born in 1969. He won an Ian Parry scholarship in 1992 for
his essay on Somalia and his work has been widely published in Liberation,
the Sunday Times magazine, Geo, GQ and Esquire. His Alter Ego photographs
have been exhibited at galleries in London, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin,
and Paris.

Julian Dibbell is one of digital culture's leading observers. Author of My
Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World (1999, described as 'the
best book written about the dynamics of online life'), he writes regularly
for Wired magazine, Feed Online, the New York Times, Rolling Stone and the
Village Voice.

Tracy Spaight studied history at Santa Clara University and Science &
Technology Studies at Cornell. He has been an avid observer of and
participant in online games for more than a decade. Tracy is a frequent
speaker and writer on virtual worlds. He is the author of 'Who Killed Miss
Norway?' which was first published in Salon magazine.
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