On levelling the digital enjoying subject

“My favourite bit in many games has been the character creator, but it’s also kind of a frustrating place to be in, because there were times when I couldn’t make them how I wanted them to look,” recalls Harriet Davey. “Then I would end up just being really frustrated at the femme options, and I always ended up just playing the man because they would always have better choices.”

Customisation options have improved since Davey, who uses she/they pronouns, was first playing these games, but the impact on their creative outlook was lasting. “I think there’s a lot stemming from not being able to see myself in them and then now building things myself,” they tell us.

Top: One of Harriet Davey’s mythical 3D avatars; Above: Davey’s 3D alter ego, Whowle; All images courtesy Harriet Davey

You may have come across Davey’s glossy, mythical, semi-human avatars by now – including their own alter-ego, Whowle – via social media, Twitch streams, or in their growing catalogue of collaborations with the likes of Maison Margiela, Y-3, Adult Swim and Weekday, the latter involving a capsule collection emblazoned with their ethereal creations.

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