Martyn Zachary writes "The Slowdown have posted a new critique, "Avataritis", that attempts to portray the utilization of character customization as a pandemic, emotional response on behalf of publishers and developers to finding the easiest, most efficient solution to the very unique dilemma presented by the enlarging, widening player base of video games.
With a narrative-oriented focus ("no mechanisms are in place stopping developers from writing and designing heterogeneous yet fully structured, narrative-based computer games with carefully constructed and immutable, unchangeable characters.") and a literary approach emphasising authorial intent and life-experiential factors ("Letona wholly circumvents the aforementioned dilemma by instead choosing to focus on the individual-authorial nature of writing"), the article discusses the emergence and role of gender criticism and research in relation to the recent proliferation of the customizable avatar.
The story also dissects the very act of character creation, subsequently aiming to clarify several semantic distortions related to the terminology utilized in character creation, and in turn breaking apart the concepts of relatability and understandability, wholly differentiating the two. The overarching analysis is finally related to examples from the gaming marketplace, where many continue to corroborate apparent falsehoods and misunderstandings in relation to the utilization of the avatar.
Ultimately, the writer hopes to dissuade readers, developers and players from believing that written narratives are going away as customization and emergent content are entering video games with full force."
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