« The Battle for the Soul of Second Life | Main | All Paths to Better Virtual Worlds Lead Through Real Life and Second Life is Not Special »

11/20/2007

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Dizzy Banjo

It's fascinating to think of these two threads as seperate competing trends, but I'd hope that they will actually converge.

The other day I saw an avatar in Second Life with his webcam mapped onto a prim face. Surely it won't be long until this additional stream of personal information freely flows into the virtual realm in much the same way as voice does now. I'd think that, much the same way as voice has instantly been tweaked, enhanced and altered by some parts of the community with things like MorphVox and eventually with Vivox Voicefonts, perhaps 3d tracked video would.

As for how similar people make their avatar to their physical self, and conversely how people try to make themselves like their avatar, I think this convergence would just enable more choice. I think some people would still float around as a giant fried egg.. but perhaps have a 'photorealistic live motion controlled complete bodyscanned metapresence of their real self' avatar too.. Whilst I can see many uses for increasing accuracty and realism, I think even the rich would still avatarize in a deliberately abstract manner - even if purely for fun..

Prokofy Neva

Dizzy, the problem with this idea of mapping on prim faces and such is that after a certain point, the developers, if not the customers, have to ask, but why pipe this through a clunky virtual world, when I can just get it out on the Internet? I don't need to be lagging out in a virtual world suited up in an avatar; I can just go on a browser.

The goal of the most extreme open sourceniks is essentially to remove the avatar from Second Life, and thin it out so much that everything is a browser.

The avatar represents the individual, however. (It's like the eyelash in the eye of Zamyatin's "We," which was the inspiration for 1984).

Some find this avatar and its limitations in the way and they don't want to avatarize. Others find it frees up access to the world of all possibilities. This is really going to be a dividing line.

There'd be no point to bodyscanning your real-life self on to an avatar shape or a prim when the cam on you built into a wider-screen terminal with your computer will make avatarizing unnecessary.

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