Persoma

Final Project by David Vernaglione | MA Digital Narratives
Germany 2020 | Interactive Graphic Novel

Vision Statement

»Persoma« is an interactive graphic novel which represents an opportunity to investigate on the nature of our body, on the thin line that demarcates, and intertwines, the borders between our physical self and our (un-)conscious identity, and on how technology can broaden and ultimately blur this already unintelligible construct, in a story where technological advancements give the opportunity to reshape the very physical appearance of the protagonist.

Synopsis

»Persoma« is a story about change. In the futuristic, overpopulated and climatically unstable setting of Codename City, you will follow the story of Darma, a girl whose physical appearance insecurities will lead her to undergo an experimental, groundbreaking surgical operation: augment her entire body with a digital skin, giving her the ability to change her physical appearance at will. As the story progresses, the skin of Darma, still a prototype prone to errors and glitches, will start to degenerate more and more, as much as her mental stability, starting a downward spiral that will trouble Darma’s self-awareness, ultimately making her reject her own identity. Meanwhile, other people are interested, and scared, by Darma’s newfound ability, leading to a hunt between the metallic buildings and the dirty alleys of Codename City, where the path of Darma will intertwine with the ones of conflicted scientists, purist activists and hackers, and returning shadows from her family.
A story that dives deeply in the grey zone between body, consciousness and identity, and how technology can change, augment, or destroy the physical and mental awareness we have of ourselves. Therefore, the medium of Interactive Graphic Novels, where still images, animation and reading sections are in constant oscillation, represents the perfect choice for portraying a story of an “in-between” state, empowered even more by the vibrant visual style which, merging pictorial, stylized and 3D illustrations, takes as main inspiration the genre of Cyberpunk to then explore it in a new, contaminated narrative shape.

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