If watching people play video games wasn't enough for you, one channel is merging fiction with reality by introducing a fully motion captured and often entertaining virtual gamer girl in the form of Kizuna Ai.
Known as Let's Play, watching someone else play games has become a growing trend over the last decade. It's become quite a career for some, such as the divisive (and now infamous) Felix Kjellberg, known as PewDiePie, having raked in six-figure sums for their videos.
Kizuna Ai is one of the more recent rising stars within the YouTube genre, having appeared on the scene in October of last year. Her subscriber following has grown to over 200,000, but here's the catch: Kizuna Ai isn't real, or at least not entirely.
What you get when you watch "her" videos is a quirky, pink-ribboned anime character, fully rendered in 3D, who emotes and reacts to the games she's playing, some of which involve augmented reality. So you have a 3D character controlling a 3D character in a game. It's not only surreal to watch, but makes for strangely compelling viewing.
While the real person or people behind Kizuna Ai have yet to be identified, there's been some speculation about her origins and the technology behind the virtual video gamer online. One thread on Reddit in particular surmised that the YouTube personality is made by a company called Project A.I., with the character design credited to Tomitake.
The real identity behind the game playing and the voice acting has yet to be revealed.
But whatever and whoever is behind Kizuna Ai, the real mystery will be unraveled in time. For now, enjoy the scandal-free weirdness of a virtual character playing games well.
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