Thursday, July 26, 2007

 

Of Avatars, Second Life, and the New World

Today is the kick-off day for the 2007 BlogHer Conference which I will be attending via my avatar in Second Life. There will be various artists performing for this kick-off at Hyperstring.net Island including Dalien Tabbot, Grace McDunnough and Montian Gilruth, all of whom I've never heard of before, but then again I'm a total newbie in Second Life. My avatar can perform the basics: dance, eat, drink, sit, and fly. Perform music? No way! It's simply amazing what so many avatars can do! Check out the YouTube video I've posted below to see what avatars look like in action.

Here's a screen shot (a touch blurry) of what my avatar looks like:


She's wearing a brand new pink dress for this prestigious event gifted to me from Vodkarella who also gifted me with lots more clothing. Now I actually have a wardrobe in Second Life with beautiful clothes. Thus far, these clothes only hang-out in my inventory as I have no home closet to place them in. I haven't decided where to settle yet as Second Life is an enormous and vast virtual world, and I've barely begun to explore it. Were it not for my wanting to attend the BlogHer Conference, I might have been too intimidated by the learning curve to jump into Second Life where millions of others play, perform, sell, and buy in a virtual reality.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the origin of avatars:

"Computer games

As used for a computer representation of a user, the term dates at least as far back as 1985, when it was used as the name for the player character in the Ultima series of computer games. The Ultima games started out in 1981, but it was in Ultima IV (1985), that the term "Avatar" was introduced. To become the "Avatar" was the goal of Ultima IV. The later games assumed that you were the Avatar and "Avatar" was the player's visual on-screen in-game persona. The on-screen representation could be customized in appearance. Later, the term "avatar" was used by the designers of the role-playing game Shadowrun (1989), as well as in the online role-playing game Habitat (1987)."

This is a YouTube video to view Grace McDunnough's avatar making music:



Gamers and young people in general are comfortable in virtual realities, and so I'm attempting to keep up with the changing times and join them in the New World. How do you feel about virtual realities, Second Life, and gaming? Are you holding back or diving in?

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Comments:
I've been meaning to try Second Life but have been wary of committing myself to something that will undoubtedly become just another of my many addictions! ;-)
 
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