Thursday, November 09, 2006

Me, Myself and I : Alt Avatars & Experiment #1

Alt Avatars.

I know there are some mixed feelings about having more than one avatar. Some feel as though they can be used to deceive while others find the necessity of an alt avatar perfectly normal (when one wants to be online and not be bothered while focusing on things like building and shopping).

A few days ago I had felt it was necessary to create an alt avatar. I did this for the mere purpose of being in SL to 'shop' for land, buildings, clothing etc ... without having to be inundated with IM's and people locating me on the map and teleporting to my location. Sometimes a gal just wants to be left alone ;o)

My alt avatar is female. She dresses more 'sassy' and really had begun to take on a whole other personality just based on her looks. Quite different from Maxine, I must say. It didn't take but a few hours for my Alt 1 to be on SL when sure enough someone offers friendship. Please do not get me wrong, I welcome all friends in SL but I find that a lot of people use the 'friendship feature' for 3D chat. If I wanted to 'chat' then I'd be on MSN or Yahoo (actually I hardly ever log in anymore, especially when anyone I ever need to get in touch with, I can text via phone!)

Just as I am strongly 'independent', valueing much ALONE time in RL, I find that I am the same way in SL. When I DO engage in conversation then you cannot shut me up but it would have to be the type of conversation that can stimulate me i.e. tell me something that I do not already know. If it's for mere babble, then sorry but my attention will wane (I am an undiagnosed A.D.D. - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

Sadly, I spend most of my time in SL for the mere fact that I can find MORE STIMULATING conversations with people inworld then I can in RL. But I also need my alone time to explore and well, conduct business matters.

So, my Alt 1 accepted the 'friendship offer' from a male avatar (crossing her fingers that it would not lead to daily 3D chat and being stalked.

The one predicament that I found with having an Alt 1 is that she would have to start from scratch. Most of Maxine's inventory items are not transferrable so Alt 1 had to purchase much of her own things. It became frustrating when Alt 1 needed a place to rest and none of Maxine's places were accessible. Hence, Maxine had to log on and give Alt 1 access. Really rather annoying I might say.

Now, choosing to be female for Alt 1 was not such a good idea. Alt 1 would have to suddenly TP out of a region if some guy started 'chatting'. (Remember, the purpose of Alt 1 was not for 'friendship' making purposes but so that I could be online to do what I needed to do, search for land, find homes etc ...) then came the creation of Alt 2 - a man.

Alt 2 was born out of the need to really be LEFT ALONE. Mind you I did not choose my Alt 2 to be non-attractive. He in fact is quite good looking, tall, broad shouldered and exudes a quiet and understated confidence. I found it amusing when female av's would walk up to him. I had to catch myself from saying, "Ummmmm, sorry, but I am really a woman" and found teleporting out was the best way to go.

Now this is what I wanted to share with you after the experience of being 3 avatars in a span of 2 days. All three have entirely different personalities and interests!

But how can this be?! There is only ONE person behind each of them so technically they should all behave and think (so to speak), the same. But NO, they do not. And this totally astonished the person at the laptop, witnessing these very different transformations.

Maxine likes to wear business suits, glasses and always carries a handbag with her. She owns several parcels of land and has furnished each home rather beautifully. She has no SL BF nor does she want one. She is more of a philanthropist. And, just like in RL she has more male friends that she does female.

Alt 1 appears somewhat younger in age but still definitely as confident and independent as Maxine but she does not want to own land. She will be living in a rented Loft apartment within the week. Unlike Maxine, she welcomes the comraderie of females (and this was purely by accident). She collects art and has a photography studio set up in one of Maxines homes. She drives fast cars and never wants to carry a handbag.

Alt 2, being male, likes to look at cars and bikes. You can find him at the race track riding his motorcycle or car, or at weapon/gadget stores trying out the new wares. He likes to shop ALONE and his clothes reflect his need for 'comfortability'. Of course he has a suit and a pair of nice shoes if he needed them but he can be found wearing his favourite pair of jeans and t's most of the time. And the most important thing - he does NOT have a PENIS.

More on my experiences with these different Alt's but you must know that in NO WAY are these Alt's meant to deceive. They have completely different circles of friends and only appear online one at a time, unless I choose to tell people of my Alt selves, in which case, I bring them out for introduction.

They live completely different lives so there is no reason whatsoever for Maxine's friends to ever meet the other two. If it happens that Alt 1 or Alt 2 ends up bumping into Maxine's friends, they simply TP out before any contact is made - end of story.

If you are one of those people that have certain concerns about having an alt av I highly recommend that you explore the opportunity. I use to be against it but after the need arose I found it not at all to be what I thought. It all depends on your intentions for having alt av's. If it is meant to spy on your 'friends' or to get information from other's then that would totally be out and out deceitful!

But if you happen to obtain an alt av then your MIND will begin the process of 'reaching out' and 'growing' into ALL THAT IT CAN BE. It is fascinating to experience and witness the transformation of one avatar personality into another.

Oh GOD! I hope I an not giving myself away as being of multi-personalities! If so, then I am not aware that I am, however, there are days when I certainly feel like I have more than one.

Which brings me to tie in how this blog entry relates to the general theme of this blog.

Here it is:

Does IMAGE / VISUAL have a lot to do with how we form our perceptions and how we choose to engage in our experience with living?

Does gender really play a strong force in how we relate to our surroundings or are these just LEARNED? DUH! Of course it does.

If we have ONE MIND, then how can it be possible to project different thoughts and behaviours onto varying images, based on image alone and knowing full well that we chose that image?

Is MIND really over MATTER?

Can we really paint a strong visual in our thought patterns that will ultimately affect the way we LIVE our lives?

Or am I just crazy!?

Experiment #1: Create and Alt avatar (without deceiving your First avatar's friends) and experience a change in thought pattern based on IMAGE / VISUAL and let me know what you found ... about your SELF.

7 Comments:

Blogger Sorcha McConachie said...

Interesting post Maxine! I'd like to try that sometime but I'm having enough trouble with the one avatar I have! : )

1:25 PM  
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4:04 PM  
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4:05 PM  
Blogger Cedro Stonewall said...

Hi Maxine,

Both questions can be mixed together. I think that both things happens at the same time (Dialetical relations). At the same time your personality is built, this affects the way your choices of clothing and appearance are influenced. But your Gender (wich is also appearance) and dressing patterns are likely to influence the social environment around you. This whole process happens almost instantly (and continues going) as you get to know your avatar. An Example of it can be seen at gender clothing differences. What kind of clothes makes more easy for a child to climb trees and run? Does this fact has anything to do with the stats that boys get injured more often? Does these accidents make any difference on the way they face competition and the emphasis (or not) they give to talking about their feelings?

I guess being "ONE MIND" doesn´t really mean to act as one personality. Despite the phenomena of Multiple personalities can be considered pathologic, I think that this "ONE MIND" can actually hold many possibilities of being on itself. These possibilities are now free to manifest em VR and This can be a really nice path to self-consciousness. At least is harmless than trying out in RL.

Cedro Stonewall.

11:04 AM  
Blogger archangel said...

How interesting! I too have an alt of a different sex created for entirely legitimate business reasons at the time. I didn't think it through though first though which makes it difficult at times. The interesting thing is, as you say, they are two different characters. I am male, hate shopping, not interested in clothes, etc, etc. My female alt is entirely female in that respect. Only thing is I made her lesbian to stop being hit on by men, that has brought its own problems. However I find my alt quite annoying in the way she will spend, spend, spend, and she thinks I am mean. My female alt loves socialising, my male prefers to spend time with one special person, and so on. I still haven't got my head round it, it's just the strangest thing. Am schizophrenic? Who knows.

12:44 AM  
Blogger Reg-H said...

Aware that this is an old article, but I had to comment:
After 3 yrs in SL (RL male), I created an alt- another male, then, another alt- a female. I too experienced the multiple effect.
Then-- I get a second computer. And things got interesting:
I.E.: I have witnessed my alts having 'cyber pleasures'.
I could go on an on. what a mind-blower this it turning to be!

9:33 AM  
Blogger Joshua said...

There is only one mind in all three avatars. Its impossible say that they are individual personalities, more like characters you had generated from your imagination. You're more fascinated with out people respond to your mythical characters then trying to socialize as yourself in sl. Rather or not this is a bad thing is based on opinion, but I will never consider alts as anything more real then a character out of a book.

8:09 PM  

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