Friday, April 11, 2008

The Real-Life Third-Person Simulator

Those of you who play electronic games should know about third-person games - games in which you control your character from an omniscient outside perspective, usually behind the shoulder like this:

With the requisite explanation out of the way, I'll go on to my real question: what would it be like to view yourself from such a perspective. I mean - in real time? Today's BoingBoing TV features a suit designed by RCA designer Marc Owens that allows you to view yourself in the third person, like a videogame character.

"The Avatar Machine"

His intent was to determine if the detachment offered by such a suit affects one's personal responsibility for actions, but that's not what gets me about this suit. My interest is far more primal: I've been trying to get my mind around it for some time now, but I just can't imagine what it would be like to wear this thing. I mean, you still feel everything, you could still trip if you stepped on a step funny, but you're viewing yourself via camera just a few feet over your shoulder. Just how do you reconcile that mentally?

Anyway, watch the clip if you like. It doesn't elaborate much from the description.

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