“Sorry Darling, you’re dumped! I fell in love with a computer game character”

Laura’s bust is world famous! It was digitally enlarged and then reduced – poor girl!

We all spend many hours of everyday on our iPhones and games consoles. In fact, many of us say that we love them! But these are inanimate objects so it is probably just a phrase. But what about characters in computer games we play and the stars the films and TV series we watch. Can we fall in love with these?

The answer appears to be “yes” in both cases! Just look back at Tomb Raider – a media franchise consisting of video games, comic books, novels, theme park rides and movies, centring around the adventures of the fictional English archaeologist Lara Croft.

Since the release of the original Tomb Raider in 1996 Lara Croft has become a major icon of the virtual gaming industry. And in the guise of Angelina Jolie has won the hearts of many a spotty teenager (not to mention their Dads!)

In 2006, Lara Croft was inducted into the Walk of Game and the Guinness Book of World Records has recognised her as the “Most Successful Human Virtual Game Heroine.” Indeed, the first movie is still the highest-grossing film adaptation of a video game ever released in US!

Oh love to love you baby! Can digital darlings win the hearts of giddy guys worldwide?

So it looks like we can fall in love with a character in a game or movie. But is that healthy?

I am not so sure! I address the problem in my new book series Age of Angels. Set in the near future Age of Angels features a computer game that is fully immersive. Once you put on your headset you are living, breathing, bleeding and dying in the game world. It is so convincing you do not even know you are playing a computer game, (think The Matrix,).

The hero of Age of Angels is a wheelchair bound teenager Sean O Sullivan. He loves playing the game because it allows him to leave his wheelchair behind and join the rest of the full bodied human race, so it works for him.

But in our current world the scenario is reversed. We have able bodied teenagers sitting passively in their own chairs for hours every day immobile. How ironic is that? And what about emotional paralysis. It is probably inevitable that you will fall in love with a digital boy or girl if you spend enough time in the digital world – but does that mean it is good?

And have you found your own heart beating quicker when a virtual games hero or a screen goddess appears on your game or TV screen? And as the technology develops will the temptation increase till it becomes irresistible?

What characters have you fallen in love (or lust) with?

Can you see the relationship going anywhere?!

Catch me on http://www.twitter.com/ageofangels of http://www.facebook.com/ageofangelsseries

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2 Responses to “Sorry Darling, you’re dumped! I fell in love with a computer game character”

  1. Good point James! But the virtual characters in the game could fool the players in every sense apart from the intellectual and emotional maturity. They could look, feel, smell, taste and sound like humans but without having the fine nuances of character – the flaws if you like – that makes us human.
    In the Matrix, a very similar world to the one I created in Age of Angels, it is the players neural circuitry that is being fooled into believeing they inhabit a real world and not the game characters they meet there.
    Does that make any sense?!

  2. Well if you’ve fallen in love with Lara Croft there’s just no helping you.

    But in the world you present, with an immersive simulation that mirrors reality well enough that it’s hard to distinguish the two? Presumably that means the computer-generated characters pass the Turing test: they can fool players into thinking that they’re human. So if the character moves, feels, talks and acts like a flesh and blood human, what’s the difference?

    Is there any?

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