Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Avatars gone wild

It just dawned on me that the vast majority of beings I've met through their avatar identities were initially introduced to me outside of Second Life. Yes, I know I've been writing and sketching relentlessly here about the subject of identity movement. But up until last night, it was more of an academic exercise than a visceral experience. Here are a couple of the last puzzle pieces that fell into place for me:
  • I finally scrutinized an image I had captured from tweetwheel visualizing the connections between my friends on twitter. It reveals a great mix of humans, second life avatars and anonymous twitter-folk. The original here is more legible.

  • Although my top-ten Twitter directs are Second Life avatars, I had made none of their acquaintances in-world and still haven't met most of them in the digital flesh. (I did have the pleasure of meeting two of my twitter pals last night at an impromptu get-together at my place in Extropia. (Image from tweetstats.)

On a related note, New World Notes covered the virtual world/web 2.0 connection yesterday. It was gratifying to see a Gartner analyst and a blogging avatar (yours truly) given equivalent pundit weight. I can't say for sure whether that speaks well of avatars or poorly of analysts.


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A beautiful thought experiment personified through the imagined perspective of a self-aware avatar. My creator's site can is at http://fourworlds.tumblr.com