Hiding the Physical with the Digital: The Phenomenon of VTubers and their Virtual Personas

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2023-06-29
Language
en
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This thesis explores how VTubers use virtual personas to mask their physical identities, examining three case studies: Ironmouse, MeeMaw The Geeky Granny, and Annoying Orange. Ironmouse employs a persona with a fictional backstory while maintaining genuine interactions with her audience, blending the digital and physical realms. MeeMaw fully improvises her virtual identity, hiding her physical self but not creating an alternate reality. Annoying Orange represents a wholly fictional character, openly separated from its creator. The research reveals that VTubers often blend reality and fiction, impacting their popularity and audience engagement. The study concludes with questions for further exploration, such as the nature of fan attachment to virtual personas compared to real-life performers and the role of fan engagement in VTuber appeal​.
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