30 Nov 2008

Avatar appearance and identity

In your blog, describe your experience playing with your avatar’s appearance: do you feel comfortable with your new appearance or is it going to take more work – share your reflections on this। How do you feel the changes you made to your avatar have affected your digital identity? How do you think your appearance affects your interactions with others and their interactions with you?

I think it’s funny playing with our avatar’s appearance. We are free to be whoever we would like to, to dress up the way we want, to have any kind of wigs, tattoos or piercings that in RL we wouldn’t have in formal contexts; at least I wouldn’t as I have a traditional, conservative image in RL.
I don’t think that the changes I made affected my digital identity because my purpose in SL is to see how it can be used for educational purposes so I never pretended to have a different identity from mine in RL.
In my opinion, our appearance affects the others’ interactions with us, at least in my particular case it happened.
When I created my account in SL I chose a default avatar, the professional woman. I wandered through several landmarks until I met an avatar who was very friendly and asked me to try a different skin. As I agreed , he offered me a skin, shape, hair and told me where to find clothes and accessories for free. When I saw myself with the new avatar, fancy clothes and accessories, I didn’t want to try anything else because I thought that avatar was like a piece of art, i. e. it was really beautiful ... :() The feedback I got from several avatars reforced my opinion :)
To sum up, I strongly believe that the way we project our social presence in SL affects the way we interact with other avatars and vice-versa. Nevertheless, until someone helps me to create an avatar that resembles me in RL, I will stick to the one that Victor offered me :)


Cate said...

I agree it could be funny have different avatars,according to the different learning situations.
The environment virtual and the architecture platform can promote the training and learning.
The role of teacher, beyond the own avatar, must be driving and director of the learning process, turning the class into a genuine community of practice.

MS said...

Yes, Cate, the teacher should be a mentor, facilitating the learning process by creating the adequate conditions so that students develop bonds of trust and group cohesion in order ti become a learning community :)

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The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you. B.B. King