Monday, February 18, 2008

Ack! A Meme!

I usually don't do memes, but this one's pretty quick and will help push that shallow entry about my avatar's evolution in appearance down the page.

1. Do you remember the first person who helped you in SL, and are you still in contact with that person?

I can think of two people who helped me early on. One was a child named Haley who dropped decent freebie hair, skin, and and outfit on me and told me about flexi skirts. I'm not in touch with her. The other would be my friend Alter, who helped me understand the technical ins and outs of SL and made sure I had an AO so I didn't walk like a duck. We still chat and visit, although not very often.

2. Do you stick around in SL for business, or for the people?

The people, primarily. I enjoy having a business, but the connection with friends is what makes being in SL worthwhile.

3. Who is the most positive influence in your SL?

That would have to be the guy I call Tech. We can talk for hours, often having the same thought at the same time. He has a rational and loving approach to SL; I know I can turn to him when other people turn up the dial on the drama machine. He understands alts, roleplay, and the boundaries between SL and RL. And if I need technical help with SL or a script written, he's the answer man.

4. Is there someone who makes you roll your eyes and groan when they IM you or if you run into them somewhere?

Oh, yeah, a couple of them. But I won't describe them in even the most cryptic terms here. Well, OK, one is a guy in his late twenties who wants me to be his Mrs. Robinson.

5. Is there someone in your SL that makes you smile whenever you notice their name on your friends list, even if they're not online?


6. Do you let people map you? Do others let you map them?

No, not anymore. I did for a while with Sparky, but we found it best to just talk and TP each other if we wanted to be together.

7. If we found out tomorrow that SL was closing, do you think you'd still remain in contact with your friends?

Some, yes. I have email and MSN contact--and phone numbers in a few cases--for most of the key people in my SLife. With a few others I might send them that information in world so we could keep in touch, hoping they log in before SL disappears. But I don't even want to
think about the possibility of SL closing!

OK, I hate it when people tag me for this sort of thing; but I
would like to see your answers.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


A friend recently commented that I have changed my look a lot since he has known me, insisting that I must have changed my skin. I've definitely changed my hair, and I've tweaked my shape a bit, but the skin is pretty much the same. While I don't have pics of my earliest days in SL anymore, I came across a couple of older images and had a look at the evolution of my avatar.
Once I realized it might be nice to have a picture of myself in my profile, I went in search of a scenic location. The SL Botanical Garden fit the bill. This was taken in early July 2007, one month after my rez day. The skin is Charmed, from Celestial Studios; hair is Melissa from Calico Creations, and the eyes were from Soda.
Eventually I managed to make my eyes look a bit more realistic thanks to Miriel's realistic eyes and some appearance slider magic.
The hair here is Amber II from Calico Creations, and it has been a standby in my hair folder for quite a while. The other one I've relied on a lot is Zero Style's Mike.
I still have a long pointy face here, though. It took me a while to realize that the shorter hairstyles I coveted looked funny because I had made my face too long.

Once I figured out a more flattering face shape, I was ecstatic when I stumbled upon this delicious little style from Kin, called Yohkoh.
From the display I was afraid it might be too orange; finding the right shades of reds and auburns in SL has been a bit daunting. Fortunately, I am often able to add a touch of gray to tone down an overly bright hair color.
You couldn't pry this one off my head until I found.....

....Poynter, by Armidi. I did have to move a few strands in place over my right eye, but this really feels like my look these days. I showed the demo to a friend before I bought it--never hurts to have a second opinion--and was encouraged by his favorable reaction.
Of course, these last two hairstyles have shown up all over the various fashion blogs, and I usually prefer to not look like I'm following the latest trends. But when something works, you just have to go for it.
I'm glad I found a skin with freckles, too. The strange thing is that Roisin has evolved to look even more like the RL me (minus 20 years) than I ever intended.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Are Your Eyes Really That Blue?

Recent conversations with friends, and the questions Kit posits here, have me doing more thinking about identity in SL and how it relates to RL. It isn’t a new topic in the SL blogosphere, but since my comment on Kit’s blog nearly turned into a post of its own before I applied my editor’s pencil, I thought I’d bring it over here and expand on it a bit.

Usually I’m not too interested in someone’s RL A/S/L except as it informs our activities together in SL. Age is *almost* a non-issue regardless, although having similar frames of cultural reference is nice, and sometimes I’ve run into emotional maturity issues. Gender is likewise almost irrelevant unless my avatar is becoming intimately involved (and I’ll talk about that in another post, since I have more thoughts about SL romance that need their own entry). Location doesn’t have to be specific, but knowing what time zone someone is in lets me know that I can’t reasonably expect my SL buddies to stay up with me if it’s 2 a.m. in their RL world.

As for other RL information, with few exceptions I’d rather identifying details stay under wraps. While I’m intrigued by avatar/person comparison pictures, I don’t need to see them, don’t want them from my friends, and don’t want to share mine any more than I already have. I’ve used voice but would rather not.

I’ll admit that as a friendship grows deeper, I get curious. In a few cases, I’ve met the atomic person behind the avatar, and those friendships are now in RL as well as in SL. I will eventually know the RL identity of one close SL friend because his RL work will become public. I both dread and look forward to that day. I don’t think it will change our SL relationship, since knowing some other SL pals in RL hasn’t changed our SL relationships; but I still find the impending breach of that firewall a little daunting.

More difficult for me is how my alts deal with RL information. As Roisin, I am essentially a prettier, younger, more outgoing version of my RL self. When I say *I* did something, I may well be talking about RL. But my alts, especially when talking with people who know Ro as well, have to be more dissociated from their typist. They are more purely roleplay, and can’t have the same background as Ro without losing their distinct personas. They have to refer to the typist in the third person whenever possible, even though this makes conversation a bit awkward. Unfortunately, the dissociation (and my inability to manufacture more than a rudimentary backstory for them) also makes them less well-rounded as people.

Some of my friends as Roisin have trouble seeing the alts as separate personas, even though the alts exhibit somewhat different personalities and really don’t look like Ro. They feel that they’re talking directly to the typist through Ro in the first place, so they speak right through the alts to the typist as well. Other pals are better at seeing a separate persona come through the alt even though they know the same typist is there. It doesn’t necessarily mean I—or they—need medication and intensive psychotherapy; it’s just another way to express different aspects of my typist’s personality, just as in RL we might have different personas we present at work, as parents, as children, as siblings….and so on.