On levelling the digital playing field

The Berlin-based 3D artist Harriet Davey reflects on the brand-creator paradigm and why digital futures are only as expansive as the teams making them

“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.