My Avatar (computer character representation in a digital virtual environment) is a red-haired, green-eyed, Girl Next Door.
We’ve been together five years but some of my friends *coff* tease at us for having non-prim hair. You see, the “in” hair to have is prim hair, a composite of 3D flexi shapes that bounce, swirl, etc. when your Avatar moves. The default for Avatars is non-prim-hair, which is part of the character wireframe and, while editable, has little to zero movement.
So my Avatar and I went shopping for prim hair as part of a homework assignment to visit new locations in virtual reality and to blog about them.
Location #1 – Sirena Hair (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Sirena%20Hair/116/217/22)
Sirena is a well-organized and aesthetic place to shop. It is on its own private island so there is little lag, and it is an outdoor mall so you/we don’t feel hemmed in. It is easy to try on anything available in the store to see how it looks. When you try a style, it is exactly what you would get if you bought it, except for a big DEMO sign floating above you, that disappears in the bought version.
Prim hair technology has advanced since the last time we shopped. Flexi prims for moving locks have been standard for several years. But Sirena adds the ability to have an up-do look, a let-down look, plus ability to change ribbon colors etc., all in one item. The “animated” hair is scripted with a simple control menu. However, my Avatar did not choose any of the available styles as they were either too-long, too-short, covered too much of the face, etc. & etc. Avatars are SO particular.
Location #2 – Alli&Ali Designs (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wonderland%20Beach/181/114/24)
Alli&Ali is owned by friends of mine and features clothing and accessories as well as prim hair. We did find a style we liked, and bought, which was a little too wild for Girl Next Door but just right for Elven Huntress.
For those not accustomed to digital virtual environment Avatars, it may seem strange or even weird for a person to discuss or stress on their character’s look “in world.” But maybe it’s not so weird if we think of our human, physical presence as a kind of Avatar in itself.
Alan Watts once suggested, wasn’t it strange that we don’t usually say “I am my body,” but, “I have a body.”
So digital virtual environments give us an opportunity to have more than one representation, or Avatar, and the ability to explore presentation and appearance beyond familiar territories.