APB unveil The Human Avatar

This is a little bit creepy. The Human Avatar is an activity inspired by the “creative freedom” of APB: All Points Bulletin, designed to blur the lines between real and virtual worlds.

It’s like Extreme Makeover, gamer-style: take an “average Joe” and transform them into an in-game celebrity, someone more at home wandering the in-game streets of San Paro. And they’re serious – we’re not just talking makeup and clothing, but the “lucky” person will have their hairstyle changed and piercings added (or removed)… and real-world tattoos have been mentioned more than once. Every alteration will be voted for by the APB online community – crowdsourced modification! What could go wrong?

APB: All Points Bulletin is a persistent online multiplayer action game where Criminals and Enforcers find daily conflict with each other in a constant struggle for power in San Paro. Like the real world, San Paro is constantly on, there is no offline, no escape and no let-up from the action once you are in-game. It is a living, breathing, constantly evolving world where players are the core focus of the action through their conflicts, creativity and sought after celebrity statuses.

www.thehumanavatar.com was launched on July 5th, with the community invited to be involved in the first stage of the activity: choosing the Human Avatar – will it be Jordan or Josh?

The Human Avatar: Jordan

Player 1: Jordan
Age: 25
Occupation: Dancer

The Human Avatar: Josh

Player 2: Josh
Age: 25
Occupation: Free Runner

Over the next few weeks, members of the public will be responsible for “shaping the subject’s appearance” – starting with choosing a hairstyle, then piercings, tattoos and clothes. “No faking,” the site explains. “The Human Avatar will be a real person undergoing a very real transformation.”

If you want to be a fly on the wall and watch the process unfold, point your browser to www.thehumanavatar.com and check out the short films being made to illustrate each stage of the transformations. From the sounds of things, they’re not expecting it to be easy – promising the “emotional highs and lows of the subject”. Adding depth to the experience are on-location photos added to a Flickr account, and live reactions via @human_avatar.

Oh, and to tie this all back into the game? Once the Human Avatar is complete, he’ll pay a visit to the arty types at Realtime Worlds, who will recreate his likeness in-game. How long will the computerised Human Avatar survive? Experts suggest the average player dies once every six-and-a-half minutes…

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