As the era of TV reality shows found its feet, when peak moments became water cooler conversations the next day, it soon became obvious these human studies were about power. This was gladiator sport, people as puppets, with encouraged responses to gain the best ratings. It became a war between channels, as they chased to create the biggest shocks, the fiercest arguments, the hottest sex.
In parallel, alternative worlds of 'non-reality' were developing online - where avatars could help real people live out fantasies with no strings attached and no accountability.
Avatars can do as they please.
Lines between reality TV and avatars started to blur. Participants in the more acute reality shows became more extreme in their behaviours. Living, breathing avatars - to be moved around at will. The question we asked in The Problem with Being It was quite simple - what would the ultimate fantasy be?
What could be done with this power if humans were manipulated for personal reasons, rather than ratings?
To explore this, we used a topsy turvy, riches to rags, Cinderella story. In the narrative of The Problem with Being It, the It-girl realises the fame and fortune of her manufactured existence is too shallow to support her growing awareness. But it takes the monstrous efforts of her Daddy, a magnate who has lost control in controlling others, to open her eyes.
A dark story, told through comedy and music. All through the eyes of the adorable, but completely dipsy, Topsy Allerednic.