Belated videos and a picture

I meant to post this awhile back, but I have been (a) lazy and (b) under the weather.  But anyway, here is the actual video of the great SL/RL machinima I reblogged last time:

In case people didn’t click through on the last post and scroll down and therefore missed it.  :)

Here also is a “What does Second Life mean to me?” video from Natascha Randt (Nat!):

which is apparently part of a whole series of videos like that, related (or not) to <a href=”https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Your-Avatar/The-What-Second-Life-Means-to-Me-Video-Share-Project/td-p/2941693″>this thread on the SL Community Forums</a>, which might be of interest to anyone who reads the SL Community Forums, and/or watches videos.

And finally here is a picture of me at SL12B.  SL12B happened, hurrah!  I spent a total of not very much time at all there; as usual, I love that these things occur, but don’t generally get to them as much as I might, because they are crowded, and I’m doing other stuff.  But I did hang from the ceiling!

Dale at SL12B

So that’s all those things that you probably knew about anyway.  :)  But still it’s nice to post here once in awhile!

How old are Dales and some gnomes?

So yeah, How Old dot Net is all the rage, and I’m sure I’m not the first person to point it at various digital-realm avatars, but here we go!

Girl Dale and Boy Dale both seem to be mid-20’s, which is plausible:

Boy Dale looks 26?

Girl Dale looks 27?

Even drowed-up for Fantasy Faire (see Michele H’s very nice coverage although given how late I always am it is probably over by when you read this):

Drow Girl Dale, too

On the other hand Spennix is, well…

Spennix, on the other hand...

as is her alternate-realm self, the Arcane Mage Tashalorum (now level 100 also with her own Castle; I think we may have seen her here or on Flickr before, at like level 12; leveling is sooo easy these days):

Tashalorum, too...

The human PNC architect there is handled more plausibly, so probably we just need a different version of How Old dot Net for each of the races of Azeroth. (But what of the half-gnomes??)

Amusingly, the male version of Tashalorum (two words: Transmorphic Tincture) is apparently an even harder problem:

Male Tashalorum ; no face??

Maybe facial hair isn’t supposed to be pink?

That’s all for now. :) All various things have been occurring as always, but I have been lazy and not weblogging them or anything. Which means they didn’t really happen yet at all!!

Steam Horse

So I’ve been meaning to do a weblog posting about Carriage Trade forever (I have some really nice pictures), and this still isn’t it :) but I got a chance to ride on a very cool Steam-Horse, and I got pictures of that, too.

Steam Horse!

(Click through to flickr for larger versions.)

The horse is actually an AV (and I am riding it through the usual trick of that we are actually both sitting on a rezzed invisible vehicle), so one can also have fun being the horse and riding around solo.

Steam Horse!

In the background of that shot, you can see another rider, riding an also very impressive skeleton horse. (Even further in the background you can see my Dreamliner parked over the Park, and not quiiite rezzed yet.) These horses and various other Hallowe’enish and otherwise things can be found at Carriage Trade North.

Steam Horse!

So very SL. :)

(Oh, and I will proudly mention that I did a little script to fix the rotation of some of the gears on the steam horse. Yay, me!)

I’m bein’ followed by a nose-shadow…

Okay, so I realize that this is reeeealy trival, but…

Here is a (scary) closeup of a (rather unflattering) picture of Boy Dale’s face. It is here not merely to frighten the children, but to call attention to the two odd shadows, or one shadow and one anti-shadow, one on either side of his (my) nose, down at the bottom.

See how there’s that one bright streak heading southwest into the shadowed side of my face, and one symmetrical dark streak heading southeast into the lit side?

What is up with those?

I’ve seen them on lots of other faces, too, they seem to be sort of built in. It’s not something subtle about the direction of the light or anything; they show up in lots of different conditions, not carefully hunted for.

Is this a quirk in the render pipeline somewhere? Is it fixed in some non-Imprudence viewer(s)? Has an alpha particle damaged the copy of OpenGL on my own personal hard drive here? Is it some weirdness in the SL face-mesh? Or are actual faces really like this, and I just didn’t notice? Or maybe it’s a clever SL watermark of some kind? (“While this appears to be a photograph of Jennifer Aniston holding up a liquor store, the nose-shadows reveal that it was cleverly forged using the Second Life world(c)(tm)(r) software platform.”)

Inquiring minds want to know!

Boy Dale Digits

Boy Dale, Digits

Finally got around to the boy digits. :)

Height – 72 (6′ 5″ by some measure)
Head size – 70
Arm length – 45
Hand size – 42 (too huge?)
Torso length – 55
Leg length – 65
Foot size – 30

T and A: :)

Body fat – 0 (lol vain again)
Pectorals – 24 (where small numbers are *bigger*)
Hip width – 55
Butt size – 50

Note how many are the same as the girl digits! If we did the face too, and more numbers in general, I expect there’d be even more similarities…

(Rather awfully-lit picture, eh? Lovely script tattoo from Sharkie’s Tattoos in Viva La Glam; most of the clothing is bits of an outfit from LNL; ancient Diversity hair, ND skin, and mysterious random sunglasses are as usual.)

My Digits! (I am late to the meme.)

My Digits!

So here are Girl Dale’s vital stats, per the meme:

Height – 55 (5’9″ by some measure)
Head size – 45
Arm length – 45
Hand size – 42 (too huge?)
Torso length – 55
Leg length – 65
Foot size – 0 (as required by all shoes in the world)

T and A: :)

Body fat – 0 (lol vain)
Breast size – 51
Hip width – 55
Butt size – 50

Skin and eyes and fingernails and tube-socks and cami from Celestial Studios (slightly tanner version of my usual skin, now that I bought a whole bunch at the big clearance sale), camo thong apparently from Vasha’s Secret.

I don’t have anything particularly profound to say about my particular numbers, or the numbers meme in general. By and large, we are pretty healthy-looking. :)

(I should do Boy Dale, too, but right now I am a girl.)

Gracie’s book!

At Gracie's

Lounging among some of the 1000+ avatar pictures (including one of me!) at Gracie’s latest location.

I’ve pre-ordered the RL book, and you can too!

I suspect this will be one of my very favorite coffeetable books ever. :)

(You can also get an inworld ThincBook preview of the RL book at that location, which is fun. And the sim down on the ground, California State University at Northridge, is a nice peaceful academic build with paths to wander and art to look at and University buildings to feel studious around; worth exploring after you admire all the AVs in Gracie’s pictures.)

AV : SL :: Body : RL

I’ve been meaning to write this entry for a long time, and (assuming I actually manage to finish it up and post this) I was finally pushed over the edge to doing it by an acrimonious debate over in a Second Thoughts comment thread, where one of the parties declared forcefully that (paraphrasing) anyone who identifies with their SL avatar is insane. (As I said in my one comment in the thread, I think the people involved are actually arguing over uninteresting matters of word usage, but it was this particular bit of it that drew my mind back to this draft weblog entry.)

All sorts of questions come up in the virtual worlds and their associated web-o-sphere, about and/or framed in terms of avatars. Just what is an avatar, what is an AV? (And why do we capitalize “AV” even though it isn’t an acronym? But I won’t talk about that here.) What is the relationship between a Resident and an AV, a human and an AV, and so on? Do avatars have rights?

One technique I’ve found useful in thinking about these things is to see what happens if I replace the SL terms in the issue with RL terms, and replace “avatar” or “AV” with “body”. Not that it’s always the same thing: the SL-AV and RL-body relationships aren’t exactly the same. But they’re surprisingly the same surprisingly often, and when they’re different the ways and reasons that they’re different can provide insights into things.

That’s really all I have to say :) but I will draw out the thought by applying it to a few examples. Feel free to add more in the comments, or in email, or in the privacy of your own home.

Why do we identify with our AVs?

Well, okay, so why do we identify with our bodies? That’s a question to make one blink, because it’s so obvious: of course we identify with our bodies, don’t be ridiculous!

There’s room for a good deal of variation in thinking about just why, though. I imagine there are people who would say that we are our bodies. (I’m not one of those.) At the very least, our bodies are the things that allow us to experience the world, to interact with the world, and with each other.

And in the virtual worlds, avatars are exactly the same: they are the things that allow us to experience and interact with the world and each other. And that’s why we identify with them.

(I don’t know how this would sound to someone for whom we are our bodies. Maybe insane.)

Of course the identification isn’t as tight (in general?), because we aren’t nearly as tightly bound to our AVs are we are to our bodies. We can’t feel physical pain or pleasure through AVs, we can change from one AV to another (and we even have to when we switch between non-interoperable worlds, boo), and so on. But it’s
the same in principle.

So when Chestnut Rau remarks quite accurately that our feelings about posting pictures of our bare pixel bottoms on the web “just goes to show how much we humans identify with our avatars“, she’s quite right. And our (often) even stronger feelings about pictures of our bare cellular bottoms shows how much we humans identify with our bodies!

“I met this avatar last night…”

Some people use “avatar” in ways that sound bizarre to me. One example I happened to read the other week describes how someone “was approached last year by an avatar from the Australia Council who was researching Australian artists…”. And that just sounds Wrong.

Applying the AV : SL :: Body : RL rule suggests why: that sentence comes out describing someone who “was approached last year by a body from the Australia Council…”.

Wahahaha!

Many times when I hear someone use “avatar” to mean “person” rather than “body”, I jump to the conclusion that they Don’t Get It. Although it’s jumping to a conclusion, it’s also often correct. :) On the other hand, I’ve also heard the word used this way by people who definitely do get it. Here is Eureka Dejavu:

And so it was that on my second night in Metaplace I ran into an avatar named Joe Castille.

The place was abuzz with avatars, many of whom, I learned, were interns and students participating in 3DSquared and involved with its parallel venture, GameCamp.

I know that Eureka Gets It, so my theory here is that she’s just in a slightly different linguistic community than I am. (I will speculate further that she may be more aware than most of us of the original meaning of “avatar”, as a deity embodied in physical form, and is using it as a word for a person as embodied in their AV, a concept that I admit I don’t really have a word for since I use “AV” to mean the form itself, not the person as embodied in it.)

I also wonder (since we’re getting into the subtleties) whether there’s a difference between “AV” and “avatar”, in either Eureka’s dialect or mine. Would she find it odder to refer to a person as an “AV” than as an “avatar”? I should ask her. :)

But anyway back to my own dialect, in which AV : SL :: Body : RL…

Do AVs have rights?

Well, do bodies have rights? I don’t think so. Part of what I wrote over on Second Thoughts was:

Bodies per se don’t have rights, avatars per se don’t have rights, vibrations in a phone line per se don’t have rights. People have all sorts of rights, and some of those rights involve their bodies, their avatars, and the vibrations that they cause in phone lines.

This seems to me to be nice and simple and correct; a place where the AV : SL :: Body : RL rule applies quite nicely. The rights that people have regarding their bodies are somewhat different from the rights regarding their AVs, but in both cases the rights belong to the people, they are just about the bodies or AVs.

“Nice AV!”

Here’s a place where the rule works less well, for a reason that’s at least moderately interesting to think about. Unless you’re a drunken immature male, you probably don’t say ‘Nice body!’ to people in RL as a general rule. But in SL, “Nice AV” or variations thereupon is a reasonably common and generally inoffensive thing to say.

Why is that?

It’s because, I think, we have so much more control over the look of our AVs than we do over the look of our bodies. Saying “Nice body!” to someone is complementing them on something they have only a limited amount of control over, and therefore (perhaps, or in some sense) reducing their agency, by reducing them to a piece of physical accident. But “Nice AV!” is complementing someone for something that they did in fact do (even if it was only to make good choices at their local BIAB store), and is therefore (perhaps, usually, among the people that I hang out with) less objectionable.

Which brings us quite naturally to…

If I said you had a beautiful AV, would you hold it against me?

:)