Why do game characters look so creepy?

Why do game characters look so creepy?

The art of play.
June 9 2004 5:20 PM

The Undead Zone

Why realistic graphics make humans look creepy.

(Continued from Page 1)

Unfortunately, though, gaming's Uncanny Valley could be here to stay, simply because players have become used to it. In the real world of plastic surgery, face-lifts used to look horrifically strange but now go unnoticed. Likewise, we've played with dead, fish-eyed characters for so long that they seem kinda normal. Creepiness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Correction, June 10, 2004: This piece originally described the Fear Effect series of games as the "Fear Factor" series.(Return to the corrected sentence.)

Clive Thompson is a longtime contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired. He is the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better.

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