Getting to Me

What matters most is how my avatar evokes a me which allows me to immerse myself in the environment (Taylor, 2000).
My initial explorations and my play explorations have by and large occurred in mature areas dancing, chatting, etc. When I log-in and before I teleport somewhere, I get ready. I decide what I want to wear. It’s a mood thing. I’ve created several different outfits, with and without accessories. I’ve become very adept at changing clothes “on the fly.” My experience however is more like “I’m changing looks,” because in these social environments, all you are is “a look” on some level. It’s the same experience as in a RL nightclub.
But the experiences I have with other residents makes me think about the degree to which they do and don’t reveal, live out and embody their RL identity in SL. For example, my avi’s shape, height and weight is not entirely different than my biological body. I change my hair color regularly, but I have this sense of coming back to “me” when I’m in my dark hair.
My look (including my hair) is based on an overall aesthetic. I like contrast and simple lines. I like to bricolage a mix of sophistication, sexiness, casualness and coolness. I carry these preferences over from RL.
I’ve met a colorful assortment of residents, most of whom have human looking avatars. It’s occurred to me lately that there may be a fair number of people who’s avatars embody an ideal. And why not? I started thinking about all this when I met a cute woman at one club who told me she was 65 in RL.
I look at profiles usually before I start chatting with someone. There seem to be more or less the same number of people revealing and concealing their RL selves. Some simply write: What do you care about my RL. Or RL is RL and SL is SL. What I like so far about some of these folks is that they’re clear about play, fantasy and being immersed. And their avatars express that physically.
I understand however how different people have different ways of evoking a Me i order to experience immersion and how “holding on” to particular aspects of RL facilitate that. That’s part of my hair thing. Not only do I feel Me the most with dark hair, I have a distinctly different hair style, a bob. Most women have long, flowing styles. I tried that for a minute a felt very uncomfortable. The same is true with breast size and height, two pronounced features of your avatar. I adjusted mine smaller because I felt very uncomfortable. I wonder though if part of our avatar preferences has something to do with what we prefer to look at as well as what we prefer to project?

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