VB Previz #43 – Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?

Previz: DO YOU WANNA DATE MY AVATAR!?

This piece considers how we choose who to spend time with and how in the process we shape personality and even visual appearance.

I ascended from Second Life on 16 October 2010. Since I don’t live there anymore, yet have a “fully loaded” avatar, it seems like such a waste of juicy pixels.

I therefore have constructed for your social or other applications, 10 personas you may choose from.

The idea for this project actually came about from a random IM some stranger sent to a friend of mine. The friend normally wears a black skin, but also has images of herself in a white skin on her profile. One day she got a random IM, Can I meet you as the white girl?

I thought it was kind of interesting that someone would tell you that they want to meet you, but you in their flavor of you.


Jeremy Bailenson, the director of the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University
http://comm.stanford.edu/faculty/bailenson/
http://vhil.stanford.edu/

has done lots of work about how the nature of 3D Virtual Worlds allows the data about body appearance, location, position, attitude, and so on, to be constantly streamed to the multiple participants in a given virtual space. The way Reaction Grid, Blue Mars, WoW, and most of the grids I’m aware of currently work, is to stream “unfiltered” data. But it really doesn’t require any new technology to stream “filtered” data. Flitered by the goals, preferences, and desires of the sender and/or the receiver. Here at iRez it has not escaped our notice that there may be a lot of this activity in the days ahead. You might choose to perceive me more as you like if we’re social partners, I might choose to subtly modify myself to match you if I’m a marketer or politician.

We all get that Identity and Persona and Appearance are VERY fluid in the 3D Virtual Worlds of 2011… but it’s barely the tip of the iceberg!

Anyway, since I’m not a programmer and can’t actually write those few lines of code that let you perceive your time with me as time with Philip or Teagan or whoever you like…

I’ve created 10 “alt-vatars”… that is, 10 versions of “me”… but not “alt accounts”… they’re all housed in my regular old raging pixels. And now, thanks to the SL Viewer2 Outfit Folders, Paste as Link, and, of course, Display Names… you can experience the companionship of the me of your choice!

Why suffer thru a life where your friends and lovers are who they are and all you can do is deal with it? Now they can be whoever you choose them to be!

Now MY identity is YOUR Pancake House Menu Item! No longer will you be stuck with whoever shows up, now YOU can specify what ethnicity, hairstyle, wardrobe, etc… for your social companion! Welcome to 2011, it’s all about YOU, it’s all about choice!

10 Avatar Auctions – 10 Saturdays – 10am SLT

The Vaneeesatar auctions will be held on the beach at Biscuit Bay, An Li:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/An%20Li/69/128/21

DATE — GUEST AUCTIONEER
• 12 Feb — Sledge Roffo
• 19 Feb
• 26 Feb
• 5 Mar
• 12 Mar
• 19 Mar
• 26 Mar
• 2 Apr
• 9 Apr
• 16 Apr

At the conclusion of each week’s auction the winning bidder may select which of the 10 altvatars s/he would like to spend time with for the week. I’ll change my Display Name to that altvatar and I will transform into that altvatar for the entire week without exception.

I’ll make myself available for at least 4 hours of Dancing, Art Opening Attending, Shopping, Lounging, and any other social activities of the winning bidder’s choice. Any hours that week where I am online without the bidder, I will remain in that persona.

When I change my display name for that week, the altvatar last name may optionally be the winning bidder’s last name.

I can optionally become the winning bidder’s SL Partner for that week if desired.

At each week's auction, the altvatar from the week before will appear on stage on the beach at An Li in my "Maurizio Cattelan Crate"

http://vaneeesa.com/2010/11/07/maurizio-cattelan/

Whatever proceeds the auctions generate will be donated to charity. It would be nice to donate to an organization working with Abuse or Human Trafficking, but as I presume the auction revenues will be small in FL terms, it might be best to put the funds to good use right here in SL, so I will donate the funds to the Afghanistan Museum of Second Life.

Auction Preview

As Southeby’s prepares our auction catalog you may preview the items in three exciting ways!

1. AvMatch.com
Of course you know about Match.com (you tried that before turning to SL, right? 🙂 but do you know about AvMatch.com? You can visit there and look at the “Frisky Flirt” profile:
http://www.avmatch.com/browse/1/16369-FriskyFlirt

You can also visit the AvMatch HQ in-world at:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Penny%20Lane/238/47/24

At AvMatch you can see headshots of all 10 personas. If you mouseover the thumbnails it will show you their names, and if you click you’ll see a larger image. You can message me/her/it/them right on AvMatch.

2. Profile Picks
I’ve changed my profile picks. Instead of 10 cool places around the grid, they now feature your 10 persona choices:
http://world.secondlife.com/resident/622ed93f-9b10-4729-b210-561c90c181d5

3. Vaneeesa.com
Or, if you want to be oldschool about it and forgo the conveniences of modern social arrangements, you can just read the content below, right here on this very blog! 🙂

Style Data:
These 10 avatars represent the designs of many wonderful Virtual World Avatar Designers, and also a couple of examples of my beloved Viewer 1.22.11 Shape Randomize button.
http://vaneeesa.com/2009/08/27/randomize-rip/
http://vaneeesa.com/2009/08/28/vbfm-3-starlight-flashmob/

Most of the hair was designed by my friend Carina Larsen / Amacci
http://amacci.net/blog/
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Amacci/186/105/23

Most of the eyes were designed by Winter Ventura / Eclectic Randomness
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Kloimar/30/48/1500

Also the photo backgrounds were all shot in-world by long-time VBCO/Multiverse supporter Fross Maruti, founder of the SL Free Photo Studio
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Tenney/111/217/100

This cloud doc has a full listing and is live-updated. The jewelry and AO’s are especially still under development.
https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=0AtzTUX-eU7FJdDZ4WFlWVm56Si1VQzlhWkpoY19JOUE&hl=en&output=html

—VB

AUDREY THORNE: Yes, I'm a tech dweeb. But that let me travel the world, take time off when I want, oh, and I can drink you under the table. And then dance on it. Life is a full-contact sport. You should at least try to keep up. Work hard. Party hard. Leave them with something to remember you by.

CALYPSO JONES: My parents never told me why they named me Calypso; it seems like an unusual choice. That name has haunted, followed, and inspired me my whole life. I am a small person, but I believe I am destined to do great things. I have always felt a certain clarity about life. I make my own maps and I answer to no one.

DYANA LE: Let's just be honest: I'm hot. Some people have called me a "bitch," which I take as a compliment. Seriously, I think I'm pretty nice for how hot I am - I could get away with a lot less. I know you totally wanna do me. Not likely. Really, if I were you, I'd just say "thank you" and shut up.

FAITH XUE: I'm so grateful for meeting you. I am very shy, but I am sweet on the inside. I like to go out and be with friends and have fun. My family is very important to me. I studied hard at university, and I am embarrassed I don't have a better job. But my real job is taking care of the people I love.

GINGER DIALLO: Hello. I run the metaphysical bookstore. We also have a yoga studio in the back. Come by anytime. We always have a nice, hot cup of herbal tea for you, and we'll take care of you body, mind, and soul. I enjoy my life; I enjoy my friends; and I'm doing my best to become an enlightened person.

HEATHER ATCHESON: I hope I don't have to tell you that I don't do nasty stuff. I know you're thinking about those others because you think they'll put out for you. Well, they probably won't, and even if they did, they're still boring. I'm way the funnest person here and if you're too lame to see that, oh well, your loss.

JACKIE JOHNSON: I think in one way or another we're all beautiful. But even good people can build up a lot of baggage and bullshit as they move thru life. I don't have time for any of that and I do my best not to dump any of my drama on anyone else. I try to live as simple and honest a life as I can, and I don't expect anything less from you. Ask me a question; I'll give you an answer.

RANDI TAYLOR: I know I'm not beautiful, but I try to have a good personality. My friends mean everything to me. I work really hard at the office; it's important that people know how competent I am and that they respect my leadership. Outside I love go dancing with my friends. We do karaoke every Wednesday night.

SHAWN COLVIN: OMG, I cannot believe she asked me "what exactly is your gender anyway?" Rude! Hell-l-o-o-o my gender is "Shawn!" kk, truth time: I'm confused about a lot of things. I honestly don't know much. But I do know I like to have fun and I know I'm a fun person to be with.

VANESSA REDGRAVE: I'm always surprised to hear that people think I'm smart. I know so many people who have so much confidence. My life is defined by doubt. Sometimes I feel foolish. But can you really be confident and open? A life of doubt isn't always comfortable; your footing is often unstable, but I think the moments are real, and I constantly make new discoveries and have new insights. I wouldn't trade that for ego or security.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Avatar, Previz

Author:Vanessa Anne Blaylock

As a Virtual Public Artist my work invites virtual communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

10 Comments on “VB Previz #43 – Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?”

  1. Thursday, 06 January 2011 at 16:43 UTC #

    Haha when I read the descriptions of them, they really sound like individual people. It sounds like you had fun constructing them!
    How come you didn’t include a dude alt’vatar as well?

  2. Saturday, 08 January 2011 at 16:44 UTC #

    Ha ha ha – to peeps who live under the constant threat of incarceration or execution by authoritarian regimes like Linden Lab or Facebook, it should come as no surprise that AvMatch.com has suspended my account.

    Funny that I explained right in the profile that what I was providing was NOT account info and NOT contact info. I don’t actually see any way you can get to me thru them without PAYING them their “coin” first… but anyway… here’s my “Bad girl! What’s your excuse for living?” message from them:

    **************************************************

    Dear Vaneeesa.Blaylock (Frisky_Flirt),

    This is an important message regarding the status of your profile on AvMatch.com.
    It has been sent to you by Marc, an AvMatch.com Profile Moderator.

    This is the message you’ve received:
    ———————————

    Vaneeesa, your account is temporarily off for a number of reasons. First, you cannot include
    contact info in your profile, which you did multiple times for every avatar account display
    name in the picture captions. I have removed the captions, but you need to rewrite your
    description. Please remember no contact info. Also, you should try to stick to one avatar per
    account. This is all the same person right? Please update and resubmit.

    ———————————

    Please login to your account to update your profile, or to deal with any other profile related
    issues:
    https://www.avmatch.com/?page=login

    https://www.avmatch.com/?page=my_profile

    If you have questions or comments regarding your profile, feel free to reply to this email.

    Best Regards,
    Marc,
    AvMatch.com Profile Moderator

    ———————————

  3. Sunday, 09 January 2011 at 15:52 UTC #

    kk, so I deleted the FIRST name, DISPLAY names from my AvMatch.com profile and my account is “temporarily” reinstated, with, as invalid human beings like moi deserve, the shortest of leashes:

    **************************************************************************

    Dear Vaneeesa.Blaylock (Frisky_Flirt),

    This is an important message regarding the status of your profile on AvMatch.com.
    It has been sent to you by Marc, an AvMatch.com Profile Moderator.

    This is the message you’ve received:
    ———————————

    Vaneeesa, I have enabled your account, but please understand that this is a trial basis. Your
    account is very unusual and it has even confused us moderators! If it confuses the general
    userbase too much, we may ask you to change it a bit. But for now, you have a green light.
    Please remember, no contact info in profile. Also, if it comes to light that more than one
    person is using this account, we will be forced to shut it off. Thanks and good luck.

    ———————————

    Please login to your account to update your profile, or to deal with any other profile related
    issues:
    https://www.avmatch.com/?page=login

    https://www.avmatch.com/?page=my_profile

    If you have questions or comments regarding your profile, feel free to reply to this email.

    Best Regards,
    Marc,
    AvMatch.com Profile Moderator

    ———————————

    To stop receiving these automated notifications regarding the status of your profile, please
    log into your account and visit your mail settings page:
    https://www.avmatch.com/?page=my_mail&sp=mail_settings

  4. Tuesday, 29 March 2011 at 17:01 UTC #

    UPDATE: Well, if you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve seen how Faith sort of emerged as the “Crowd Favorite” (the “sexy Asian?”) and had a Pinocchio epiphany/emancipation.

    Meanwhile… that friend I mentioned at the top of the post, with the Black / White skin… in addition to that random stranger IM… she CONTINUES to have her friends tell her “I prefer you as the white girl”

    WoW

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