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Questioning media incarnations and forms of avatarization: approaches and processes

Étienne Armand Amato et Étienne Perény
Traduction de Cyril Laumonier
Cet article est une traduction de :
Questionner les incarnations médiatiques et formes d’avatarisations : approches et démarches [fr]

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Crossing into our screens and inhabiting digital spaces through interactive avatars

1This article offers contextualization for the notion of avatars, a term that covers several forms of existence in the spaces that unfold on the other side of our screens. Through appropriation and creative power, this programmed body allows us to exist in parallel dimensions and to interact with other inhabitants of represented and simulated spaces. As various sectors and technological evolutions explore virtual worlds, calling for the personification of their users, avatars also embody new paradoxical relationships, casting a light on our shifting rapport to image and technique. This is due to a generalized and complex avatarization which virtualizes beings, objects, and even phenomena. Calling upon the arts, sciences and technologies, this topic has brought upon eight contributions, gathered and presented in two sections. While the first one stays in the realm of academics, the second one focuses on a more artistic approach of research and creation. Finally, a quick review of the editorial and scientific process underlines the on-going reflections leading to the rise of a field of studies and avatarial creations.

  • 1 Complete with documents, traces and media connected by hyperlinks, these hypermedia avatars form ag (...)

2Beyond the numerous ideas and discussions surrounding the “digital world” and its various “transitions” and “transformations,” one needs to acknowledge how, over the past three decades, interactive screens have multiplied and are creating, in our daily lives, new “methods of interaction” (Amato, 2009) with images and information. From personal micro-computers to touch phones, from our workstations to the worldwide Web, various displays allow for very original forms of existence. Among them, the interactive avatarwith its initially anecdotal and playful appearanceconstitutes a unique techno-social device. It encapsulates the anthropological wish to visit, or even better inhabit, new parallel and sensitive digital worlds, each offering highly cultural, social, and symbolic content. The digital avatar becomes a techno-biological bridge between our present world and an artificial “otherworld.” It allows for a subjective crossing of our screens, echoing the Hindu religious origin of the Sanskrit term that designates one of Vishnu’s incarnations who descended on Earth in the form of a supernatural animalistic or human being, in order to restore justice. Although the central idea of body metamorphosis is key to this notion’s success, we need to acknowledge a peculiar reversal of meaning: our modern avatars give human beings new and almost divine powers, rising to more abstract, “virtual” spaces. As a result, we can fulfill our desire to emancipate ourselves from our world and access different universes, by crossing the border of our screens and entering a new body. Through this programmed and controllable entity, we can access an unprecedented vital and causal power within electro-digital spaces, which we can explore, modify, or build. We can meet activity partners with whom to interact, whether they are other humans online or just programmed characters. Innumerable and widespread practices develop in online video games, meta-universes, 2D and 3D chats, and in virtual (VR), augmented, or mixed realities. The meaning of the term has expanded so much that it now applies to all graphic representations of a user, from their thumbnail on a web forum or a mobile application, to their entire personal profile on a Web 2.0 platform.1 It is now a synonym for digital identity (Georges, 2012), in the broadest sense of the term. Of course, this polysemy does not take anything away from its notional coherence which relies on identity transformation, on relations nourished by projection and identification, on synchronizations and subtle adjustments, etc. Therefore, we should insist on the richness of a “technological object” (Perény, 2013) that has the unique ability to become a subject in the presence of third parties. After its creation, configuration and setting in a matrix of sorts that allows us to choose its characteristics, the avatar collects many creative choices and a strong sense of personalization. The subject can identify themselves at will, depending on the constraints of the media at hand, whether they are a user looking for a powerful experience or a designer creating a predefined character. Therefore, the avatar contains many paradoxes, as it is simultaneously empty and inhabited, unique and generic, created and creating, objective and subjective, reflecting many classic dualities.

From surfacing to full fledge adoption: a metaphorical notion covering various developments

3A quick reminder: it is with the rise of “information and communication technologies” that the notion of avatar took its new meaning in the 1970s, when the first computer role-playing games appeared, whether online or in solo mode. It allows to consider new possible relationships between people, through new identities that were adapted to computer-generated graphic environments. Stemming from geek and new age cultures, it became a source of interpretation (Casilli, 2005), popularizing new ways of incarnation and body metamorphosis, with its first official use in the connected world of Habitat (Morningstar & Farmer, 1994; Lucasfilm Games, 1986). From there, we saw the multiplication of more or less extensive uses we just mentioned, through retrospective analysis. Games studies (Wolf & Perron,2003) redefined avatars as the first video game ships (Spacewar!, Russel, 1962) or even as the tennis bars of the electronic game Pong, while computer science and ergonomics eventually defined the desktop pointing arrow of graphic interfaces as an avatar. Ultimately, an avatar relates to any personification, representation, or simulation of an entity or phenomenon. This broad definition proves relevant based on its most recognizable and striking original version: a protagonist set to exist in a universe and to meet other partners.

4For a long time, these epiphenomena of popular subcultures were considered as mere offspring of computers, screens, games, and networks. They were said to have harmful psychological or social effects. During the 2000s, their many merits and useful features made them unavoidable for online communities and current entertainment systems, allowing to personify their owner, as with the Mii characters of Nintendo's Wii console. They continue to grow with mobile applications and smart objects. Over the last decade, important evolutions have affected “cybermedia” avatars (Perény et Amato, 2010), that is to say, cybermedia based on the simulation of behaviors and interactions that were already well long established by games. Always driving innovation, video games keep improving character sophistication (Genvo, 2009). Virtual Reality (or VR) is moving away from its (mimetic and closed) naturalistic origin to offer more collective and scripted immersive environments, where the use of an avatar is required in order to interact with others, with video game inspired aspects. For over twenty years, a realist tradition has led to creating a visual and behavioral clone of ourselves in professional VR spaces, as in the playful spaces of video games. Meanwhile, new “VR Chats” offer to use fanciful and creative virtual bodies, as with the recent VRChat Avatars 3.0 System, an echo to the historical Second Life Metaverse. As for so-called augmented or mixed realities, that were initially less concerned with the notion of incarnation, they are increasingly welcoming the presence (Fribourg et al., 2020) of other users thanks to miniaturized and portable devices such as smartphones and connected glasses.

5More recently, the global Covid crisis has undoubtedly intensified and diversified the use of alternative remote means of communication. Certain events have left their mark with the transposition of concerts into video games, for instance on April 23, 2020, when a giant-sized Travis Scott singed in Fortnite was surrounded by his fans, dancing, jumping and even flying around. The fans avatarized themselves to move around their idol, while the 3D scene was also being broadcasted through other video streams that people could watch as simple spectators. We also witnessed how the large adoption of videoconferences, bringing participants together on the same screen, has helped each and everyone getting accustomed to their “video avatar” (Amato & Perény, 2021) in co-telepresence. This phenomenon is reviving the old promises of holograms, that were said to enable us to talk at virtual desktops. The metaverse’s potential has, indeed, brought back such promises.

Calling upon sciences and arts to question widespread avatarization

6These various manifestations and hybridizations show that media identity transformations have long been at work. We offered to analyze them through the more general phenomenon of avatarization, as this hypothesis covers various media configurations that enclose many modalities of presence, existence, and immersion.

7In this framework, avatars, which allow for unique spatialized and embodied experiences, situational and interactional experiences, lead us to rethink the great movements of digitization, virtualization, dematerialization, and even modelization today. Indeed, avatars embody not only their users (and certain identifiable values and ideologies), but also the vast computer process of global metamorphosis that is virtualization, which they allow and make us experience, so to speak, from the inside. This phenomenon of “technological avatarization” includes people, forces, activities and practices, objects and spaces, both in the real world and in fictional universes. It mobilizes different sectors, fields, and disciplines that will be questioned and reconfigured.

  • 2 This work will continue in 2022 and 2023 in the course of the seminar organized by the participants (...)

8To understand such fundamental evolutions, arts, sciences, and technologies allow us to consider aspects that are too often put aside. They encourage a critical and multi-referential reflection in order to identify concepts and approaches, hypotheses and assumptions, breakthroughs and results, and to try to triangulate them, in an uncertain exploration.2 As an innovative scientific and editorial space, the Hybrid journal promotes a dialogue between arts and sciences for human mediations in a technological context. It gives itself the means to offer a reflection that focuses on the originality of transversal topics. Hence the thematic dossier, based on a deliberately broad open call for papers entitled “Arts et sciences de l’avatar technologique. Rétro-prospectives des incarnations médiatiques” (Arts and sciences of technological avatars. Retro-prospective studies of media incarnations), which resulted in the submitted articles. It aimed at going beyond the binary oscillations between utopias and dystopias, technophilia and technophobia, digital transitions and current crises, to distinguish between inevitable evolutions and adaptive tinkering, dominant trends and marginal struggles, and perhaps to identify desirable futures. It gathered both genealogical research, helping a historical understanding through the accumulated works and updated state of the art, and reflections on technological and social evolutions. Following the conviction that sensitivity and intelligibility, experiences and reflections, reinterpretations and visions of the future, can enrich each other, this dossier recounts precise works (from observations, to experiments and on-field experience) edited in a “multi-,” “inter-” and finally trans-disciplinary perspective as revealing works (creations, experimentations, unique situations, etc.) The work is carried with a certain sense of social, cultural, and therefore political, co-responsibility, of artists, scientists, and technologists. They have the vision and legitimacy to mobilize networks of alliances and to build clear and structured controversies, in order to better identify constraints or uncertainties, choices and options. The present issue actively participates in the creation of a field of research likely to gather both artistic and scientific experimentations, which become techno-social laboratories and grounds for innovation, experimentation, and creation. Finally, contributions were reworked through perspectives and contrasts, organized in two different sections:

  1. “Approches disciplinaire pour des études avatariales” (Disciplinary Approaches for Avatars Studies), which brings together object-oriented studies and fieldwork from different disciplines

  2. “Démarches artistiques et créations avatariales” (Artistic Approaches and Avatar Creations) which gives an account of more hybrid research-creation, where arts, sciences, technologies meet and can contribute to conceptualization as well as sharing explorations

Eight contributions to better understand media incarnation through avatars

9The first article in the dossier, written by Jacques Ghoul Samson, aims at “Challenging the Asymmetry of Online Interactions between Humans and Avatars in an Online Video Game Space: A Unique Example of Relative Independence and Autonomy.” It analyzes players’ practices in the persistent universe of an emblematic MMORPG, Word of Warcraft, a world-renowned subscription-based multiplayer video game. As such, it is part of the study of the online avatar’s original legacy, taken from one of its most acclaimed environments, that contributed to the adoption of avatars as identity vehicles, created by their users to go through environmental and social interactions. Reexploring his doctoral research, supported by a methodology of audiovisual recordings and interviews, the author gives an original reflection that questions the way in which avatars would acquire their own existential qualities, gaining a certain independence, or even autonomy. Thus, he proposes a very stimulating change of perspective: the avatar’s fictional and social identity evolves through group interactions and various social rites. In turn, these redefine the player’s behaviors. This contribution is rooted in information and communication sciences. The latter took interest in new technologies and media early on, while taking advantage of the contributions of Goffman's symbolic interactionism, that is often called upon to understand real or fictional role-playing games, distinguishing between the ego and the alter, allowing for a consideration of the different frames at hand.

10Michel Nachez and Patrick Schmoll’s article deals with “Avatars, characters, multiple identities: observations on dissociative processes.” In a complementary way, this second submission offers an ethnological, psychological, and anthropological approach on dissociation between human beings and their avatars, which has intrigued Western cultures so much since the rise of immersive online environments. The analysis of the testimonies on emotions and love experiences regarding either predefined video game heroes, or avatars made by the participant of the Second Life metaverse, allows to distinguish several modes of affective commitment. Some remain away from the character while others merge with it and draw their strength from it, with increasing degrees of veracity and consistency. They follow logics developing from the avatar regarding not only its online partners but the player too. To better understand the resulting disorders, the article revisits the notion of identity dissociation, to prevent hasty and narrow conclusions regarding the risk of confusion or internal conflict within the person. Analyzing how smoothly we enter and leave a role shows how easy and most often beneficial it is for us to experience multiple identities, due to the very fact that we have this anthropological capacity. This is better recognized by other cultures, where said capacity takes cultural forms of a magical and symbolic nature, as with shamanism.

11The third article, by Kevin Beaufils and Alexis Berland, entitled “Avatar embodiment: from cognitive self-representation to digital body ownership,” addresses the user's avatar in the context of virtual reality and immersive headsets. They call upon knowledge and concepts of cognitive psychology to theorize the construction of a presence based on an “avatar incarnation,” the appropriation of the avatar's body, a receptacle of body transfer. The ways of thinking that feed this model are rooted in embodied and situated cognition, also known as enaction, which insists on the central role of the human body. Caught in a specific context, it proves capacities of perception, cognition, and action, which are externalized through the avatar. During the cognitive transfer from the human being to the avatar, a corporal and sensory-motor appropriation occurs. Several diagrams help to grasp its functional components, associating body image and cognitive representation of the self and the avatar, that theories of perception and action help to adjust. The resemblance between the avatar and the user, its accuracy, seems to favor better recognition and major involvement from the user, which remain linked to self-esteem. Ultimately, the quality of immersion seems to result from the quality of the incarnation and from this adequacy between the real body, the body as experienced and the virtual body.

12To close this first part, Renée Bourassa and Fabien Richert’s contribution on “Figures of the avatar: semi-autonomous agents, presence effects and interpellation in videogames” presents advances achieved in Quebec by semiotic, narratological and video game research to elucidate the functioning and pragmatics of video games and immersive worlds. By relying on them, they deepen the way in which the player's avatar confronts programmed beings—the so-called non-playable characters—which come to the player or which the player must identify and find. The authors justify extending the notion of avatars to these semi-autonomous agents, which appear to be intelligent as they adapt to the player's avatar’s behaviors. To illustrate and flesh out their argument, they analyze two particularly successful and acclaimed video games: Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018) and The Last of Us 2 (2020). The realism and coherence of the narrative world and simulation allow for a strong immersive experience, while the problematic interactions with virtual inhabitants strike the mind and baffle the player. The authors identify different factors that keep players involved in events and encounters. On the one hand, photorealistic protagonists act as doubles for human actors who were used to model and animate them. This opens an interesting reflection on a form of avatarization of humans through these diegetic agents. On the other hand, by adopting Louis Althusser's theory, their systematic attempt to address the player becomes a game mechanic and a narrative to stimulate the experienced adventure. The article further analyzes the limits to the hero's responses, their capacity for “counter-address.” This helps understanding how an interpersonal dynamic gives a natural quality to these software robots, through “dynamics of subjectivation and reciprocal subjection,” giving them a confounding existential psychological consistency. These simulacra would therefore act as actual “mediation devices” between the player and the world.

13The second part begins with a double interview by both editorial directors of this issue, with Marie-Hélène Tramus, professor emeritus in aesthetics and art sciences, and Judith Guez, founder and artistic director of the Recto-VRso festival. Their “Prospective and retrospective reflections on avatars and virtual actors in artistic experimental exploration” help identifying the artistic scope and scientific approaches of virtual bodies and immersive works. The article presents two meetings, done a few weeks apart, with two arts and science figures, namely Marie-Hélène Tramus, professor emeritus in aesthetics and art sciences, and Judith Guez, founder and director of the Recto-VRso festival. Their institutional activity shows a capacity for innovation and initiative, as they play leading roles in the relationship between the arts, sciences, and technologies in the field of digital images, from graphic and interactive computing to virtual reality and its contemporary evolutions. The first discussion looks back on over forty years of research and creation within the department of Arts and Image Technologies at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, all the while positioning the issue of avatars in this rich body of research. It then focuses on the dynamics behind the festival’s creation and development, in addition to the professional and industrial show Laval Virtual. It confirms the importance of creation and artists in the exploration of these new technologies and in the acculturation of artistic practices. Holding the Festival and the Salon remotely allowed the role and potential of avatars to be used in various adaptations in order to restore access to the events as well as to the works.

14Following these retrospective and current questions and answers, the interview turns into a more reflective discussion on all trajectories of invention and situations. The discussion leads to reformulating more speculative and prospective notions and visions, to turn research questions towards virtual figures and interactive avatars. The latter manifest technological and civilizational changes that can be interpreted as the artificialization of human beings and the humanization of virtual protagonists. The discussion focuses on the precise nature of complementarities between arts, sciences, and technologies, based on atypical examples and experiments. Taking distance favors a critical and productive analysis, especially regarding new immersive metaverse-type platforms and their consumerist promises of incarnation. It allows for retrospection and anticipation, that would otherwise be lacking in this issue. We can better think about our collective and political responsibilities with the precious insights brought by technological and cultural experiments, through which arts become sciences, a dynamic that our last three articles illustrate as well.

15The sixth article, written by Rémy Sohier, “Level of autonomy and level of materiality based on Edmond Couchot’s works: from a matrix of artificial humans to a research-creation experimenting with co-avatarization” enriches the notion of avatarization, from both a theoretical and an artistic point of view. It is based on the works and reflections of thinker Edmond Couchot, who questioned the evolution of digital art and virtual humans since the shift from the optical to the digital world, up until the recent developments of 2011-2018. hybridization and experience of Lacroix-Neuberth’s “technesthésie” support the idea that various modes of avatarization can also represent an artistic expression, as they condition the externalization of cognitive and sensitive processes. As for the typology of virtual humans, it considers their materiality and autonomy to discern puppet avatars and autonomous actors. After highlighting the interest of such an approach, the author shares his research-creations, imagining ways to avatarize several people as one or to control several avatars at the same time, taking inspiration from video game cultures. This exploratory approach leads to interactive installations that allow for live performances, with a technical operator being separate from participants. He also learns from these performances, enriching Couchot's model with an additional level of complexity, that of the avatar’s interaction with its environment. It opens to a plastic expressiveness based on the variations of involvement and body forms, as well as the fluctuating shared interfacing and ability to intervene.

16The duo of researchers-artists Georges Gagneré and Cédric Plessiet present their results on “Spectacular and interactive avatar staging: two research-creation strategies involving real-time pre-visualization tools.” Daring to speak about virtual actors’ and avatars’ expressiveness, they combine a theoretical framework (the result of their recent accreditation to direct research), cultural and artistic depth, and specific software solutions. The latter are part of the computer sciences’ legacy, from the audiovisual field known as real-time preview, which was initially a production technique related to the tradition of pre-calculated animation for cinema and 3D movies. Progress in processing speed makes it possible in real time. Taupipeline, a well-thought-out software architecture and a source of many a discovery, ensures the creation of interactive paintings that allow for interaction with viewers or hyper-realistic human characters. But it also allows for sceneries that associate shadow avatars (“ombravatars”) and actors for live performances. offering an open and controlled combination of various different forms of existence that move and inhabit spaces simultaneously. In addition to their technical means, the article reveals, through very different questions, a coherent approach to organizing design, testing and theorizing stages. As such, this openly subjective and humorous submission helps us to grasp the uniqueness of the scientific art-creation process.

17In conclusion to our dossier, the sound composers and researchers Christine Webster and Sophia Kourkoulakou reflect on the favorable conditions to pursuing their art in a virtual reality (“Composing in virtual immersion: avatar and representation. Questioning interactions and co-presence in a 3D audio spatialization environment for virtual reality”). Their objective is to rightfully address limitations and offer the right setting for a sensitive and spatialized experience. In doing so, they offer a reflection on the origins of avatars and their development all the way to virtual reality, where realism and physicality become major features. Through EUR ArTeC’s ambitious research project entitled VR Auditory Space, they go through a philosophical and moral journey about creators’ responsibilities and the civilizational issues raised by avatars. Thus, their article is part retrospection—by revisiting the origins of avatars—but also prospection—by linking the cyborg’s thoughts and the complexities brought by disorder and overcoming oppositional dualisms. It focuses on the role and the potential of technological invention, with the hypothesis of a whole body being captured and restored by combinations that analogically repeat composition choices in the immersive space. This also brings up the question of the reception from the designer’s point of view.

Effects of a prolific editorial production process behind the scenes

18Carrying out this project for the 9th issue of the Hybrid journal was a stimulating and instructive intellectual and relational endeavor. Here are some effects on the different working and research communities involved, and on all those interested in avatars.

19Starting from the call for papers, despite a broad and open editorial framework, which could have attracted many circles, articles were mainly submitted by scientists and academic researchers-artists willing to escape their discipline’s logic of publication. Indeed, classical works in computer science, ergonomics, sociology, and psychology dealing with avatars end up in renowned publications and conferences of their respective fields, and continue to slowly explore a topic that, in the end, is relatively limited in scope, as it is still under construction. Hence the difficulty to obtain long-term, more historical observations, which justified conducting the key interview at the heart of our dossier. This very enlightening interview shows the amount of work required to establish such a transversal field around the technological object-subject of avatars. It will lead to a better understanding of the way human beings begin inhabiting technology differently through them.

20On the other hand, for those willing to share their investigations, it seems that the terms of the call for papers allowed them to question and rework their submissions. While keeping their unique perspectives, the back and forth with the scientific and editorial reviewers led to prolific developments. Indeed, beyond the validation of submission and comments by the reading committee, our extensive dialogue with contributors helped stakeholders—including us—to better understand the variety of issues and questions related to each submission. Work as usual, one might say. Except here, it is as if the articles, coming from very different areas, had increased in utterance and scope through the exploration of the topic at hand. Thus, we would like to thank the authors for willingly reworking and deepening their thoughts and texts. We would also like to thank them for their enthusiasm regarding this form of collaboration, engaging respectfully different perspectives, in order to create a common field.

21However, we have chosen to organize the contributions into two distinct and more traditional sections. First, disciplinary studies, and the term “approach” which emphasizes the scientific angle and perspective of the issue. Second, research that feeds on original creations, rendered by the term “process.” Both emphasize orientation and trajectory. Thanks to these two complementary dynamics, readers will appreciate the back and forth between fields and concepts, aesthetic experimentation and theorization.

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Amato, É. A. (2009). L’instanciation: un modèle analytique du mode de fréquentation du jeu vidéo. In L. Viera & N. Pinède (eds.), Stratégies du changement dans les systèmes et les territoires. EUTIC 2009 - Bordeaux Enjeux et usages des technologies de l’information et de la communication (p. 149-162). Maison des sciences de l’homme d’Aquitaine.

Amato, É. A. & Perény, É. (2021). Analyser les régimes médiatiques du numérique avec les études avatariales: profils “hyper,” créatures “cyber” & doubles “vidéo” [Conference]. Ludovia Conference 2021, Ax-les-Thermes, 23-26 august.

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Genvo, S. (2009). Le rôle de l’avatar dans la jouabilité d’une structure de jeu vidéo. Adolescence, 27(3), 645-655.

Georges, F. (2012). Avatars et identité. Hermès, La Revue, 62, 33-40.

Morningstar, C. &. Farmer, R. F. (1994). Le projet “Habitat” de Lucasfilm: les leçons d’un séjour dans l’espace cybernétique. Réseaux, 12(67), 71-93.

Perény, É. (2013). Images interactives et jeu vidéo. De l’interface iconique à l’avatar numérique. Questions théoriques.

Perény, É. & Amato É. A. (2010). L’heuristique de l’avatar: polarités et fondamentaux des hypermédias et des cybermédias. Revue des interactions humaines médiatisées (RIHM), Journal of Human Mediated Interactions, Europia, 11(1), 87-115.

Wolf, M. J. P. & Perron, B. (eds.). (2003). The Video Game Theory Reader. Routledge.

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1 Complete with documents, traces and media connected by hyperlinks, these hypermedia avatars form aggregates of temporalized, calculable, measurable and exploitable data. They are meant to represent the user, as opposed to cybermedia avatars.

2 This work will continue in 2022 and 2023 in the course of the seminar organized by the participants to the present issue. This seminar, entitled “Études et créations avatariales: hybridations, symbioses et transversalités” (Avatarial creations and studies: hybridizations, symbioses and transversalities), is supported and labelled by the MSH Paris Nord (accessed July 27, 2022 on our research video channel

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Étienne Armand Amato et Étienne Perény, « Questioning media incarnations and forms of avatarization: approaches and processes »Hybrid [En ligne], 9 | 2022, mis en ligne le 30 novembre 2022, consulté le 03 février 2023. URL : ; DOI :

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Étienne Armand Amato

Étienne Armand Amato has been a senior lecturer in information and communication science at the Gustave Eiffel University and at the DICEN-IDF laboratory since 2014. He studies interactive audiovisual forms (video games, virtual reality), ludic communication and media avatars. At the Paris 8 University, he trained in film studies, multimedia and ethnomethodology. From 1999 to 2003 he was a consultant in futurology at France Telecom. He developed OMNSH and, from 2001 to 2005, actively took part in the seminar, Action sur l’image. For 15 years, he developed research programs and workshops with Étienne Perény. He has also been a professor and researcher at Gobelins École de l’Image in Paris, director of the Video Game School (ICAN), training manager at Mastère IDE, and a scientific consultant and facilitator at IHEST.

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Étienne Perény

Étienne Perény is an honorary professor in communication and interactive design, a member of the Laboratoire Paragraphe (Paragraph Laboratory) at the Paris 8 University and an associate at the DICEN-IDF laboratory. In Vincennes, since the 1970s, he has been experimenting with light video equipment through the fields of ethnology and urbanism, videoscope and architectural simulation. A pioneer of the video disk and the Plan Câble venture, in 1983, he founded his own research-creation workshop at the Paris 8 University, l’Atelier Vidéomatique (the Videomatic Workshop), where he built and studied prospective interactive video prototypes, in offline multimedia and then, online, during the early days of the Internet. All these initiatives form the basis of his original theory on interactive images and video games. He is co-author of Devenez avatar (Becoming Avatar) a scientific method used to study the avatarisation phenomenon.

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