Robbie Cooper was talking the divorced CEO of a business who shared with him the unusual relationship he had with his kids since his divorce. He explained that each evening he goes online, into a computer game where he gets to talk to his kids about their day. This form of contact was the only way he was able to have a regular form of interaction and it got Robbie thinking about how our computer game personas are a psychological reflection of our real selves. Robbie went onto explore this further with his project Alter Ego (Popova 2015).
This project led to Robbie wanting to explore the virtual world further and embarked on a new study based on kids playing computer games. In the project ‘Immersion’ Robbie filmed a group of children playing various computer games and he used their facial expressions to highlight the emotional engagement that the kids were having with the games. Fully immersed they became oblivious to the camera and revealed truly spontaneous moments and this is something I will be aiming to capture in my project.
Over the next two years Robbie expanded his investigation to cover adults viewing horror movies and violent videos, toddlers watching children’s television and most recently porn.
My own project does have a lot of similarities with Robbie Coopers work and I was unaware that he himself had started exposing people to some of the internet horrors that exist. However I still feel my work differs, both in the content and the method of capture. Robbie works primarily with video and I chose still images I have also used a wider range of stimulus and shown this to my subjects all in one sitting in order to take them through a variety of emotions with no time to recover in between.