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second life adventures

2009 April 8
by Ruth Goodlaxson

I got very weirded out when, the first time I teleported, I ended up here. It was disturbing. (Is that a shark, zeppelin or what at the top of the screen?) Then I figured out I was under water.

It was strange seeing how empty these places were. I saw very few people, and even fewer interacting with one another. The interactions I had were limited to saying hello. I was really surprised by how awkward I felt – no one could tell it was me, and yet I felt hugely embarassed when I accidentally walked straight into someone. Designing the avatar was also a weird process, especially (I thought) the sliders for body weight. I really feel like in a lot of these kinds of games you have to choose between skinny and unattractive, like in the Sims where you’re either skinny or you have skinny legs and a BIG belly. This was a little better, but I think it’s an interesting representation of how we understand our bodies. The tools require you to represent a body in a particular way, and I wonder if that in turn can effect how you understand bodies.

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