My Second Life Avatar
Creating my second life avatar was an interesting experience. To start it was surprisingly difficult to choose which one, maybe it was just a bad internet connection, but it wouldn’t seem to load them all and then I had no idea how to change the look of my avatar. So out of necessity I chose one and left it dressed the same way it came. But after further thought I realized that there was more behind my decision than just pure necessity to have an avatar.
My avatar originally was not ideal; it doesn’t dress the way I dress, it doesn’t even look a lot like me, and it wasn’t the avatar I wished to have at the time. It portrays an image that I would never have given the current circumstances, but rather portrays a world I wish I could have known and my avatar, in its own way, gives me a view of that world. Once I realized this, I decided to not change the look of my avatar.
When creating this avatar, I honestly did not give any thought to how my avatar would come across to other people. I made the avatar for me. I did not consider the appearance of my avatar being “honest” or “dishonest,” but after thinking about it I guess I did chose a more honest avatar. My avatar is the same gender and race as I am, it looks around the same age as I am and the basics, such as hair and eye color, match up. I did not put much thought behind it in the moment, but I guess that it was a little bit of an unconscious decision. I wanted to be something I am not, but I also did not want to be, in a sense, deceitful. The avatar I ended up picking is a little more outlandish in dress than my appearance in real life, but not something as outlandish as I would consider one of the animal avatars to be, such as the panda.
The avatar I have chosen is meant to project the persona of old world charm, classy and very feminine in appearance, a little bit like that of Kate Middleton and British Royalty, but even a bit more traditional.
I hope my avatar makes a first impression similar to the one I make in real life. I hope my avatar comes off as approachable and, for lack of better terms, normal. Although I think appearance does play a factor in one’s first impression, I think even more important is the demeanor and the personality that comes across in a first impression. For example, one of my first experiences in Second Life was with an avatar that kept walking right up to me. She was in my personal space constantly even when I would try to back up. I thought this behavior impacted my first impression of this avatar much more than her appearance.
So, although appearance plays an important role in life, even in the life of my avatar, it is not the only factor to consider when choosing your persona in the virtual world.
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