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In China, pixel idols

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Luo Tianyi is a 15 year old young lady with silver hair and big green eyes. In China, she is a real superstar. She has performed on stage with classical pianist Lang Lang and regularly gives concerts in stadiums in front of thousands of spectators. On Sina Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, she has more than 5 million followers. Only, Luo Tianyi is not a being in the flesh. It is made up of pixels. It only exists on the web or as a hologram in the real world.

“The first virtual stars were born in Japan in the 1990s, but the phenomenon did not really take off until 2007, with the launch by Yamaha of a vocal synthesizer with a virtual star. called Hatsune Miku, ”notes Rafal Zaborowski, a digital literacy expert at King’s College London.

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