By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Have you ever thought about what you look like while playing a videogame? Face scrunched in concentration, eyes glued in one spot, maybe even your tongue sticking slightly out of your mouth (drooling optional)? Do you look like these kids?
Robbie Cooper, a British photojournalist, is collecting these images in a project that’s part art and part science. The Telegraph reports on the project, which Cooper calls “Immersion.” While these kids play a series of violent videogames–Halo 3, Call of Duty, GTA 4, Tekken and Star Wars Battlefront–they are also looking straight into a camera lens, onto which the game display is projected.
Cooper plans to log the expressions and work with a psychologist and sociologist to interpret them in the context of the psychological profiles of the gamers. A gamer himself, Cooper is keeping an open mind about the link between violence and videogames.
Though collecting the images as “data,” he’s looking at them as art as well. He’s hoping to install them into an exhibit that incorporates the games’ sound effects.
Cooper is also the author of Alter Ego, and it was while working on that book that he got the idea for this project. Alter Ego juxtaposes photographs of gamers and their avatars. I actually have a copy of this book (you can pick it up for a couple of dollars used), and it’s quite interesting–you should have a look if you’re at all interested in the subject of identity and virtual worlds. Though the photographs themselves are a bit hit-or-miss due to resolution issues.
After seeing his latest images, I think I may be a little self conscious about what I look like when I’m playing Grand Theft Auto.