US – Hinting at a phygital future for reality tv, Alter Ego is a talent show that allows contestants to perform as avatars. Using motion capture technology, human singers on the Fox show are encouraged to create their dream avatars to perform in front of a panel of judges – including singers will.i.am and Grimes.
By embedding technology in the reality tv process, the talent show allows contestants to programme their reality and present themselves as an idealised digital persona. ‘Alter Ego merges talent and technology to revolutionise the singing competition show in only a way Fox can do,’ says Rob Wade, president of Fox’s alternative entertainment department.
Imagining how the reality show format can be modernised for a future of virtual identities, Alter Ego shows how media companies can integrate technology into mainstream entertainment. Due to the broad range of audiences attracted to American reality programmes, the show is also likely to spark interest in avatar entertainment across the media industry.
Media and entertainment brands should take note of how the hybrid talent show considers – and validates – the increasingly important role of virtual identities in people's lives