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Interactivity Project: Experiencing an Alien Virtual Environment


Character Profile Creation



The surnames names were chosen based on location and age. The most common surnames of each state that were different from each other. Maine lists, Smith, Brown and Johnson. Alabama lists Smith, Williams and Johnson.[1] The first names were created by according to the US Census database[2] record of the most popular gender-specific first names for the year of birth.



The age of the characters was determined by gender and voting patterns. Income, 0ccupation and education were secondary factors.


Determination of age began by accessing state profiles from US census bureau. [3] However, both Alabama and Maine have similar age and gender demographics. Contrasting characters suggested contrasting generations. One character needed to be significantly older than the other. The given assumption that one character voted for Clinton and one for Trump provided a solution. Since young women were more likely to vote for Hilary Clinton,[4] it was determined that the younger character would be the female.


The characters employment and end education histories were also considered. The male character’s occupation and yearly income suggest an age close to retirement. The female character’s occupation required minimum education levels which determined a minimum age of 22, adjusted up to allow greater income and experiences.


With no specific justification (for kicks), the characters share the same birthday, November 20.


Race/Sex/Gender/Sexual Preference/Marital and Family Status

The race of both characters was determined according to the majority population in each state. Maine is a whopping 95.9% white. Alabama is only 69.8% white, with 26.8% black.[5] Since only 2% of Republicans are white[6] and Alabama is a Red state, it was determined that the character from Alabama would also be white.


It was determined that the characters would be of opposite sex to create contrast.


Gender and Sexual Preference were statistically normative.


The family statistics for the both represent the average statistics according to US census data. The female statistics also represents the trend towards increasing age of first birth.[7]



The region was selected based on voting patterns and aesthetic balance. The initial given required a red and blue state. The decision to use Alabama was simple. It is my home state. The decision to use Maine as the blue state allowed me to use my home state and my new home.


There are some problems with selecting Maine as the second state. It is a politically divided state with a large conservative streak. However, for the purposes of this project it was decided that the character created would still remain an accurate representation of the democratic population of Maine.  Cumberland  County was specifically chosen because of the election results. It had the most democratic voters.[8]


The housing was based on I selected housing based on race, income and employment. The neighborhoods were searched for demographic and income data. Addresses were provided by vacant houses on



Occupation was predetermined by the 4th largest employer in each State and County of residence. The salary was looked up according to occupation, age and likely experience level.


The results were Hyundai and Inspiria Health Services[9]. 20,000 was deducted from the nurse salary because a 25-year-old should be entry level.


Religious Affiliation

Research was not conducted on religious affiliation in Alabama. This was based on personal knowledge.


Maine was ranked the 48th least religious state in two different polls.[10]


Education Level

Education level was determined by state statistics as well as occupation.


A nurse requires a college degree. The University of Maine is the most attended university in the State of Maine.


The Hyundai plant does not require a college education to work in quality control. State statistics show high-school education as the most common education-level. Based on age, location and race, Robert E. Lee High School would have been a likely choice for a white, middle class boy in 1971. (No, the name has not been changed.)


It should be noted, that race is a determining factor for education in Alabama. Despite the well known integration laws of the Civil Rights Movement, many schools remain racially segregated. The complexities of the County v, City School systems in Alabama in general and Montgomery in particular are both the result of and the perpetuators of racial segregation. This has significantly improved over time. Current school systems are better and more integrated. I attended high school at a school which was almost exactly 50/50racial mixing. This has become much more common.


Political Interests

Each character was given political interests. The political issues came from 5 most interesting measures on Maine and Alabama ballots. “Interesting” was determined roughly based on the number of time the results were mentioned in search results: ” political issues in Maine/Alabama[11]” The listed voting record is based on the majority results in the given counties. [12]


Hobbies and Interests

Hobbies were necessary to provide potential search terms and to select Apps and shopping patterns. I selected generic interests based on my own general knowledge, local club listings, newspaper ads, University clubs and newspaper descriptions.  Travel descriptions of each state and Craig’s List personals were also consulted.


Family Issues

Family issues were selected to add depth to face book profiles and fodder for search results. The characters issues related to their age and circumstance. The age of the male suggested the likelihood that at least one child would be in college. The female was given an ailing parent. The ailment is based on the most commonly diagnosed condition in the US.[13]


These are the resulting character profiles. They were used to create all applicable project profiles.

Character Profiles
James Williams

November 20, 1953







South East



Montgomery County

3329 Sommerville D. Montgomery, AL 36111

Hyundai Manufacturing

Quality Control Officer




Church of Christ

Robert E Lee High Class of 71

ü Voter Registration IDs

ü Prohibiting Reallocation of Parks

ü Right to Work Amendment

ü Etowah Law Officer Supervision

û Toll Roads


Football (Roll Tide)


1 Child in College, UoA


Date of Birth





Marital Status






Street Address

City, State & Zip code



Yearly Salary

Home Ownership

Political Affiliation

Religious Affiliation


Political Issues





Hobbies and Interests



Family Circumstances

Ashley Brown

November 20, 1991







North East



Cumberland County

397 Island Ave.

Portland, ME 04108

Inspiria Health Network



Lives at Home


Not Affiliated

University of Maine Class of 13

ü Medical Marijuana

üGun Control

ü Increased Minimum Wage

ü Income Tax for Education

ü Ranked Choice Voting




Father with Hypertension



[1] “What’s the Most Popular Surname in Your State? – Ancestry Blog.” Ancestry Blog. 2015. Accessed November 20, 2016.

[2] “Social Security.” Popular Names by State. Accessed November 20, 2016.

[3] “Selected Characteristics of the Citizen, 18 and Older Population.” US Census Bureau. 2016. Accessed November 20, 2016.

[4] I lost my source. Find it again asap.

[5] “Selected Characteristics of the Citizen, 18 and Older Population.” US Census Bureau. 2016. Accessed November 20, 2016.

[6] Gallup, Inc. “Democrats Racially Diverse; Republicans Mostly White.” 2013. Accessed November 20, 2016.

[7] “Average Age Of First-Time Moms Keeps Climbing In The U.S.” NPR. Accessed December 11, 2016.

[8] “Maine Election Results 2016: President Live Map by County, Real-Time Voting Updates.” Election Hub. Accessed November 21, 2016.