Photographer Robbie Cooper spent three years taking pictures of online gamers and lined them up next to their avatars. Cooper writes:
In 2003 I was photographing the CEO of a company, when he told me that he used virtual world games to play with his children. He was divorced and had bad access to them, so he would meet them every evening in 'Everquest', where they would play and chat. I asked him, what did they talk about? He told me that they discussed things like homework, school, their mother; the normal stuff of humdrum reality.
His description of this banal but emotionally important exchange, taking place in the vivid fantasy of a game, got me thinking about the nature of the game itself; it's a world of surface appearances and symbols. Within that, their interaction had been reduced to text; it was a technological extension of psychological models -- the imaginary, and the symbolic structure of language.