Whilst running the Character Production for Games module on the BA (Hons) Computer Games Art degree at Teesside University between 2002-2015 I would get the students to build a 3D model self portrait based around a themed alter ego. As part of the initial design phase I would take mugshots of all the students on the module so that they had a base set of reference images as a starting point. For fun, once the mugshot sessions were complete I would create composite photographs from all the head shots to see what the ‘average’ games student likeness was for that year.
Below are the results. As can be expected, with a high enough number of mugshots, you are likely to get an average look which changes little each year. However it is interesting to note that we did have a mix of ethnic origins which was not the same each year. All the students were aged between 19-21 at the time the images were taken. When I have time it would be interesting to see how many images are needed to give the regular average we see displayed here. This is by no means a serious experiment and was purely for fun with the students. It is presented here as a conversational piece only.
This kind of photographic manipulation is termed composite portraiture and was made famous by Francis Galton (British, 1822-1911) particularly through his experiments with composite portraits of criminal types and his ideas regarding eugenics.
Other examples of composite portraiture can be found on this website – www.compositeportraits.com
2002 Games Student Composite Photo (Teesside University)
89 students (83 male, 6 female)
2012 Games Student Composite Photo (Teesside University)
73 students (59 male, 14 female)
2013 Games Student Composite Photo (Teesside University)
69 students (53 male, 16 female)
2014 Games Student Composite Photo (Teesside University)
71 students (58 male, 13 female)
2015 Games Student Composite Photo (Teesside University)
93 students (80 male, 13 female)