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Faceez DSi-ware Review

18/09/2010 Thinking Microcosm Gamer Review
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Faceez DSi-ware





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Faceez DSi-ware is a quirky application for accessorising and animating avatars created from a photo of someone's face. It's very limited, and I really don't see the appeal.

I already have a natural distrust of games ending in a 'z', and in the case of Faceez they must really not have thought the name through properly. Suddenly Catz and Babyz sound almost appealing. Normally the title is a very minor part of a game, but in this case it's hard to get away from. I found that unfortunate label running through my head and affecting my impressions even before I'd started the application up.

I have to admit; I really don't know what to make of Faceez. It's a very simple image manipulation application, without much point to it. You use the DSi camera to take a carefully lined up picture of a face. Be that your own face, friends and family, or even a celebrity photo or face drawn on a piece of paper.

This creates odd little avatars known as a Faceez -- see, they still aren't letting me forget that name -- which consist of a face disc with arms and legs. You can dress these avatars up in odd accessories, give them silly expressions, and animate them. That's basically all there is to it.

These Faceez creatures have a severely limited microcosm to explore. The program itself has no sharing options built in, although you can take screenshots and share them using the DSi camera application. There is no way to easily a share animation, unless you count physically handing someone your DS. The animations are probably the most interesting part, so that seems odd.

Personally the whole thing creeps me out, so I wouldn't inflict my creations on anyone even if I could.

An avatar has little purpose in isolation. Presumably Faceez is designed for creating quick moments of craziness with family and friends, rather than linking to a broader virtual space.

Personally the whole thing creeps me out, so I wouldn't inflict my creations on anyone even if I could. I've never been very comfortable about my own photograph, let alone when it sprouts horns and starts doing back flips.

My discomfort is actually fairly interesting. I have an odd relationship with my physical form. Not a poor self image exactly, just a difficulty reconciling how I look with how I feel on the inside. But I am attracted to the concept of an avatar, and how I can reshape myself to explore a range of other worlds. In another context I might have enjoyed the opportunity to modify and re-create myself. Faceez is just far too limited to fill that role for me.

I hope other people have been able to make use of that in fun ways.

Faceez is a simple example of taking elements of the real world and manipulating them to create something new. I hope other people have been able to make use of that in fun ways, but in this case it really isn't for me.

Written by Amber Gilmore

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Amber Gilmore writes the Microcosm Gamer column.

"Games provide me with a diverse range of miniature worlds to explore. I'm fascinated by the myriad of ways these microcosms recreate elements of reality. Even the most fantastical or abstract games stem from real world concepts when studied under the scope. Far from being mindless escapism, playing games prompts me to reflect on the concepts presented and how they inform my outlook."

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