With text and voice we have no bodies at all. If I’m walking across my college campus texting or talking to you as you walk across your college campus saying,
Nothing, what are you doing?
We each exist at our own place and use a communications wire, or pipe, to let ideas flow between us.
With Zoom, or any video media, we see each other’s bodies, but I am still at my place and you are still at your place. We are not together at a place. And our bodies, while visible, are abstract ideas.
In a virtual world like Second Life we are together in a place. And our bodies, be they sexy 20-something humans, or Furrys, or monster trucks, or the planet Saturn, are expressions of our identity as we interact with each other, and experience each other, in that place.
As a noob in SL, we start with a “starter avatar.” The old ones are crude by today’s standards. The new ones are more refined. But all starter avatars bear the burden of having an endless number of clones across the grid who look just like them. Most people who stay in SL for any length of time leave their starter avi behind. All at once, or slowly over time, we buy things, make things, or seek out freebies to shape our unique avatar presence.
Our avatar bodies evolve over time as our ideas and interests change. And, in parallel with that, our bodies evolve as a result of technology. From system avatars to mesh avatars to appliers to BOM. Refinements in bodies & clothes refine our ability to adjust our appearance. (But I still miss the joy that was flex-hair and flexi-skirts. They were a mess, and had high rendering costs, but the way they interacted with a breeze or your movement was glorious!)
In the Physical World (PW) our bodies say a lot about who we are. Some aspects of our physical identity are easy to change. Paint your nails, change your make up, color your hair. Other bodily aspects are more challenging to change. In a virtual world like Second Life, all aspects of an avatar body are easily evolved. If you have enough L$, or creativity, you can do anything at the cosmetic surgery clinic or the hair salon.
Our identities are more than just our bodies. Yet we humans, physical or virtual, have a tendency to judge a book by its cover. We have a tendency to assume a lot about identity based on a physical or virtual body.
Here in the “Avatar” Tag are a few moments in the evolution of my own avatar body. Other avatars I have seen. And experiences from the other authors here at Kate Nova.uk.
Happy 14th rezday to me! I put on my OG Gamer Girl avatar, grabbed Baby Cygnus Nova, and went dancing at Muddy’s! Weirdly, I don’t get hit on in this avi the way I do in my “Paloma” dress!? Huh… wonder what that’s about?
I always *say* I’d do anything for my daughter Odia. Mostly, I guess, from the guilt from not being there for her for so many years. Today Goth Mommy is finally getting the tan Odia’s always bugging her to get. Off to the Tannification Cosmetarium! Join me… if you dare!
Cheerleaders share the stories behind how they chose their avatar names. From frustration with Lucky Chairs to refugees from another world, we’ve taken some interesting journeys to find our names and to become a part of SLCS.
A Powers of Creation (POC) customer, whose name I’m sorry I can’t recall just now, and I made some skinny avatar shapes. Then we went up on the roof of POC and took some selfies in front of the giant POC logo.