Avatar Affinity

One of the things I really enjoy about Secondlife is the connection I have with my avatar. The process of creating my avatar, finding outfits, a skin, the right hair, accessories helped me learn to navigate and connect with Secondlife. The connection with my avatar is fundamental in giving me an immersive virtual world experience. I can express my mood differently with the click of an inventory change and my interaction with others is more captivating because of their expressed individuality.

Jazzydee

Other virtual worlds have not given me the same connection. Even having the ability to select from a small smorgasbord of avatars in Active Worlds doesn’t seem to help, I want the ability to customise and be animated. In the same way, I find it difficult to relate to other avatars there, it doesn’t seem to be as “freestyle” as Secondlife.

Do you have an affinity with your avatar? Does your avatar selection help you connect with and be immersed in your virtual world environment?

8 thoughts on “Avatar Affinity

  1. barryeverett

    Yes, my Av has attributes of my self, but not fur, or a suit and tie. Farnham Farrjones looks a little like my self decades ago, not quite as old or fat as I am now. The inner me? I would hope so, but since Virtualosity is about thoughts and words, the external me in SL is more about casual appearance than fashion. I would find it very difficult to talk to someone in RL who was wearing horns or a tail, but Farnham can keep a straight face (almost) when chatting with a bucket of ears (or whatever). I am still looking for a good deal on some sunglasses.

  2. Pingback: E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez » Blog Archive » What Did You Get for Christmas? I Got an Avatar from Far Far Away!

  3. Luis Suarez

    Hi Jazz! Thanks for dropping by the blog post I put together yesterday! I commented back, but just wanted to share a thought in here, on how much someone can be connected to their avatar if there is a real live connection with it. With the lovely present you gave me on such special date as the 6th of Jan. I just couldn’t help but feel very grateful that you have re-gained my interest in virtual worlds again. Not that it was gone or anything. It just came back fully re-energised amongst many other things!

    So definitely I can relate to the lovely blog post you have put together above! Thanks for sharing it with us! :D

  4. amagard

    I agree that the functionality to create an own avatar with all the flexibility and options you can have – from skin to face to clothes – is essential for a great virtual life experience. I hate virtual worlds where everyone looks the same or similar – like soldiers in an army. There is no good reason to visit a virtual world where you have to give up your individuality and creativity.
    Finally a virtual world should give you better options to some extent than real world to make it real attractive – and customizing all aspects of your experience is one of those essential advantages.

  5. wonderwebby

    hi Amagard,
    exactly, they do feel like soldiers in an army when there is no freedom for creativity. You also make a good point that it is great to have better pptions than the real world to enhance your physical environment. I guess that’s why it’s so important to be able to create or “ensemble” in a virtual world.

    And Luis, you are so very welcome, I’m glad I was able to help :)

  6. Solanio7

    Heya WW,

    I wrote a blog post myself about avatar affinity and the need to account for avatar personalization to help create an attractive space. I really think, as I stated there, that “avatar affinity” along with your social network are the two main considerations that will help create social traction for a virtual space beyond other merits, such as better services, graphics, etc. Take in point, World of Warcraft (game I know but it also doubles as a virtual world in some sense): in many ways, it’s looking very dated graphic wise and I feel has been outdone by some copies looking to improve the model – and yet it still maintains a dominant force in the marketplace (news feed just said it has reached the 10 million mark) that dwarfs all others. Why? Because of the personification and personal investment in the avatar and the social links to the community. Such would have to be given up or diminished in any move to an alternate vendor so such considerations give traction to that space. Virtual worlds, imho, will see the same sort of manifestation of traction IF they allow for a similar nuance and investment potential in avatars, personal space, and links to social groups.

    For virtual worlds where the function incorporates some need to function outside the activity (say education or business), there could be drivers to bring users into the world who really don’t have an affinity per se to their avatar – not to say that their AV isn’t important to them. I think whether one identifies strongly or not with an AV, there is still the understanding that it represents your image and is therefore important. But for some users, should more mainstream use require adoption on the part of some, AVs can be merely seen as a means to function in the space.

  7. Pingback: Virtual Essentials « wonderwebby

  8. Dale Innis

    For me this is like asking if I have body affinity. :) My avatar is me in a good virtual world (of which so far I’ve experienced just two: SL and WoW) to the same extent my body is me in the default world.

    So basically, heck yes!

    AV : SL :: body : RL

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