“The eyes are the window to the soul’ – English Proverb


Perception of the Self


Our representation in virtual worlds is often referred to as our avatar.

We use an avatar as a stand in for our self because we cannot actually place ourselves in the world.


Ideally, we would use a true representation of ourselves, but unfortunately this is not always possible.

Often, we use the opportunity to alter the way we are perceived by others.

However, our perception of our self usually stays consistent.


Until, we have to opportunity to reflect upon ourselves as we appear within the virtual world.

This can be a compelling moment in fully immersive settings because our appearance and mannerisms in front of a mirror are much of what we use to gauge how we appear to others.

When we get feedback about how we are perceived we begin to alter our own perception of our self.




Yet, even this appearance may not be how we are perceived by others in this virtual world.

The reason that people prefer to meet face-to-face is because no intermediate medium can alter the eyes.

Yet, what if the medium does alter us in ways that we are not in control of?

The viewer themselves may also wish to alter the way that we appear to them.

If we become resigned to the idea that we must rely on others to inform us of how they perceive us, then what have we gained or lost?



Inherently we assume that any change in the appearance of others is purposeful.

We assume that people are aware of how they appear to us.

But, what if both we and those that we are interacting with are not completely in control of how we appear?


What if a malicious or benevolent third party is intervening in our self-presentation or even our perception of others?

When there is no longer any constant in the physical world that validates our perception of others or representation of ourselves, what will the consequences for relationships be?