Monday, March 12, 2012

Impression Creation

Impressions Matter

In life we all have our own agenda's, our own understandings of how things work in our world. Our laws are different, our systems are different, are visual awareness is different. If you live in the country and its snowing you have a different impression of how your life is, compared with someone on a tropical island who has never seen snow. Briefly your environment, your upbringing and yes in some cases your childhood, provides you with your "norms and values" whats right for you is not always right for someone else. So lets look at that in how we form an impression of some of the second life characters that we know personally. This is not Alex, it is Elliott but what does it tell you?
Elliott my second life partner
To prevent any misinterpretation of Alexander occuring we don't want to talk about him, we want to talk about overall character and impression formation. Take this picture of Elliot and ask yourself what was your first impression of our second life friend. 
You probably noticed he is wearing a Jack Daniel tee shirt, does that mean he likes Jack Daniels, or does it mean that he is just wearing it because he didn't have anything else to wear.  Depending on your own life, your own "norms and values" even your job you will inform a different impression of Elliot.
The best thing about Second Life is we don't need to tell you about him, we don't need to describe him, you can see him for yourself. You can see that he is medium build, dark haired, and dressed casually but he is sitting in a leather chair and surrounded by books, but the stairs are modern and so are his clothes.

Do you see how pictures can create impressions?

Yin and Yang
Merri Van horne
Where there is light there is dark. Merri is a sultry, pretty lady, the sailors top and sweet brown hair is supposed to portray her innocence, but she has bright red lips is she so innocent? You're forming an impression of a character, created for role play. If we changed the scene behind her, you would have a different impression than the one you previously formed.  So will the next person who reads this. If you see her in second life, even for the briefest moment you will quickly pick up cues from her.
Orion Van Horne
Darkness needs light to exist, or you wouldn't know it was dark. Orion is Merri's opposite, she is darkness although there is a glimmer of light in this character. Your first impressions of Orion might lead you to think that she is wiccan, gothic, or vampire?  But not all wiccan's and vampires look dark, a vampire can be portrayed by their pale skin, goths prefer black or dark colours and wiccan's wear what they will.  Once again you have made up your own mind about Orion and what her beliefs are just by what she wears. For a writer is pain staking process to get your characters image right when you bring them from the written form into the light of a sketch or an avatar in second life. It may not always look the way you want him or her to look, you have an image of the perfect character in your head, or mind bringing them to "life" on screen, in a sketch, a 3D program or in second life is an effort, that even the writer may never be satisfied.
Trying to create a teen in second life is difficult, they have different needs, image shape and you never want the girl too buxom. Lindy is a cheeky and young woman, trying out new styles, new make up. The problem with teens is that fashion in real life practically demands they dress like young adults, rather than the teens of yesterday. Most parents are appaled by what teens wear, through out generations of teens, no one has been happy to see their daughter, son looking older than he really is.

Fashion demands that they are mini adults, its difficult to get what a teen should wear correct, because of these demands. So although Lindy is portraying a sixteen to seventeen year old young lady, the reader of this blog might think she is more like 21 or older. Why because we form impressions of what teens look like today, based on our culture and our norms and values, or belief systems and it sticks.

We have all seen them wandering around second life. So much so, some shops insist that child avatars do not come to certain shops. If your going to "play" a child, you shouldn't really be on an adult sim, even though its an adult playing a child. Why do these exist, because there is a demand for cuteness, sweet little girls and nice little boys, baby talk its a growing trend in second life. They have this annoying speech impediment. So when you see them you either converse with them as you would talk to a child or you teleport away from them! I do shudder when I see them, I don't know who is actually behind the cute persona they portray.

Frances is always accompanied by an adult or made to stay at home, just as we would never let our real life children go wandering in the mall alone, we should be more responsible with child avatars. Its a sobering thought because in second life, you never know "who" YOU are talking to when you interact with a handsome man, a cute teenager, a sweet little girl. The worrying thing is you just never know.

 What does this have to do with Sanity Falls, well its a game and your going to playing it more than likely as Alexander Blackwell dressed as him, wearing his skin, his hair, yes right down to his shoes. What? all playing one man.

 Well thats the fun part of the game and yes in the first few days no doubt there will be lots of people who look like that and may you will choose not to dress up, and be your self. But who is that standing next to you, you don't know its a game.

The scariest thing about Second Life and when you play those state of the art games you immerse yourself into the game, relax, let your hair down. "I am Lara Croft!" you call, or "I am 007 and I have a licence to kill" or more excitingly "I am Alexander Blackwell and I have a..." game to play! Thats who you will be in Sanity Falls, thats who I will be, thats who reader number 22 will be. Wait "I am not a number I am free man/woman" I hear an insane laugh from some where beyond the sim walls.

Next time, how Alexander Blackwell was created.

Blog written By Rowanessque Whitewood.

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