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Tithonus in a Mesh Body. Are You Getting Older in Second Life?


LaskyaClaren
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So, I guess this question is largely targeting people who've been around for a while, but I'd be interested in anyone's views, really.

In ancient Greek myth, the Goddess of the Dawn, Eos, fell in love with the handsome youth Tithonus. Wishing to preserve that love forever, she asked Zeus to grant him eternal life. This he did . . . but she had forgotten to ask that he also retain eternal youth. And so Tithonus did indeed live forever . . . in a body that slowly decayed and shriveled until at long last he dwindled into a cicada.

Sometimes I have thought that Tithonus in reverse would be an apt emblem for the typical SL user. Slowly, inexorably, we grow older, even as our avatars do not. We dwindle inside: it is only the surface that retains the promise of eternal youth.

Many of us -- surely the vast majority, in fact -- represent here as younger than we really are. The index of time that marks its passage upon our physical bodies in the physical world here is meaningless: not only are our virtual bodies free of the scars that measure the passage of years and decades, but we can actually move back and forth through body-time.

At least, we can in theory. Most of us remain static, trapped in an endlessly ephemeral "now" that knows no before (we were, most of us, never children or teens here) or hereafter.

When I first began in SL, I was in my mid-30s in RL, but dressed (and probably acted) more-or-less like my RL self had between 5 and 10 years earlier. It wasn't an "accurate" representation of who I was then, but neither was it so far off the mark that it felt inauthentic.

When I came back to SL, however, some 5 or so years later, and created a new avatar, I consciously aged her a bit. I made her shape a bit thicker, and the clothes she wears are more "mature" and, I suppose, conventional. Gone are the ripped jeans and the Clash tees. I still listen to 90s alt; I just can't imagine dressing as I did when I was listening to it in my 20s anymore. (Interestingly, I also can't imagine re-designing or "aging" my first avatar. She belongs in ripped jeans, tees, and leather jackets. It would be oddly "inauthentic" to change HER look.)

So, what of the rest of you? Have your avatars "aged"? Do the shapes and skins you wear, the clothes you buy, reflect the march of time in RL? Or do you remain trapped in amber?

Age cannot wither us . . . but surely without age, custom will indeed stale our infinite variety. How can we grow without change?

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LaskyaClaren wrote:

So, I guess this question is largely targeting people who've been around for a while, but I'd be interested in anyone's views, really.

In ancient Greek myth, the Goddess of the Dawn, Eos, fell in love with the handsome youth Tithonus. Wishing to preserve that love forever, she asked Zeus to grant him eternal life. This he did . . . but she had forgotten to ask that he also retain eternal youth. And so Tithonus did indeed live forever . . . in a body that slowly decayed and shriveled until at long last he dwindled into a cicada.

Sometimes I have thought that Tithonus in reverse would be an apt emblem for the typical SL user. Slowly, inexorably, we grow older, even as our avatars do not. We dwindle inside: it is only the surface that retains the promise of eternal youth.

Many of us -- surely the vast majority, in fact -- represent here as younger than we really are. The index of time that marks its passage upon our physical bodies in the physical world here is meaningless: not only are our virtual bodies free of the scars that measure the passage of years and decades, but we can actually move back and forth through body-time.

At least, we can in theory. Most of us remain static, trapped in an endlessly ephemeral "now" that knows no before (we were, most of us, never children or teens here) or hereafter.

When I first began in SL, I was in my mid-30s in RL, but dressed (and probably acted) more-or-less like my RL self had between 5 and 10 years earlier. It wasn't an "accurate" representation of who I was then, but neither was it so far off the mark that it felt inauthentic.

When I came back to SL, however, some 5 or so years later, and created a new avatar, I consciously aged her a bit. I made her shape a bit thicker, and the clothes she wears are more "mature" and, I suppose, conventional. Gone are the ripped jeans and the Clash tees. I still listen to 90s alt; I just can't imagine dressing as I did when I was listening to it in my 20s anymore. (Interestingly, I also can't imagine re-designing or "aging" my first avatar. She belongs in ripped jeans, tees, and leather jackets. It would be oddly "inauthentic" to change HER look.)

So, what of the rest of you? Have your avatars "aged"? Do the shapes and skins you wear, the clothes you buy, reflect the march of time in RL? Or do you remain trapped in amber?

Age cannot wither us . . . but surely without age, custom will indeed stale our infinite variety. How can we grow without change?

I am surprised you got Tithonus by Hades' minions here in Montag's underworld. The breast, or the mere reference to it in any colloquial form, is not allowed here .

That being said, in answer to your question, my representaions are fluid, shifting between what is by whim or neccessity appropriate.

On another note, I love the sound of cicada in August. (Sort of like this place now, shriveled, decayed emitting a long, lonely drawn out buzz as opposed to the popular cliche chirping of crickets)

Enjoy your turkey.

I should send you mine inworld but, again, we can't speak about that here.

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when I first played on SL I tried to be older. Which basically meant wearing as few clothes as I could get away with and not go red (:

10 years later I bought my first leather jacket, and I wear it

 

i am turn into my mother I think. Is true bc I went to Muddys instead of Dance Island tonight (:

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You ask for views from older users and then reference ancient Greece.  Quite how old you think some of us are I'll let pass.  Anyway, I believe you and I fall roughly within the same age range and whether it's cultural or the acceptance of age I too have set aside my youthful phase, which much like yours, seemed to go on 10 yrs longer than nature intended and I think I've now made that cultural leap of jumping from fashion to style.

However, for males in SL the range of clothes styles is far fewer than what are available for women so the availability of options that are reflected in real life just don't exist.  At one end of the scale you have an androgynous Asian style, hipsters filling the middle range and a Sears catalogue and formal suit combination taking up the other end.  Not to say that rare examples don't occur, but that's the general impression I get.  I think it's far easier for a man to find a better range of fancy dress outfits than anything "appropriate" to post 30s.

As regards body parts I've always kept mine to my rl proportions though saying that I should possibly review it.  Looking downwards right now then if I do have a six pack stomach it's being carried in a rather padded bag.  Hair is more problematic I guess for men than women.  I don't recall ever seeing a balding man in SL.  Grey hair I've seen occasionally, but very rarely on a woman avatar if ever; then again irl I rarely see grey-haired women anymore.

So in conclusion I would say that much like Western society endeavours to stay ever young looking then art will reflect life, but of course it's a lot simpler and cheaper to achieve it in Second Life and requires no dieting, exercise or beauty regimes to be adopted.  Meanwhile in real life, industries and consumers will aspire to reach the day when life will imitate art and you can fall out of bed in the morning and with one click you can be washed, dressed to the nines and looking like a 20 yr old; teleporting would be cool though.

P.S. Good to see you back though, as Derek hinted, this forum has become arid.  Though your neo-progressive 3rd wave feminist nonsense may get me checking in more :matte-motes-big-grin-wink:

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Derek Torvalar wrote:

I am surprised you got Tithonus by Hades' minions here in Montag's underworld. The breast, or the mere reference to it in any colloquial form, is not allowed here .

That being said, in answer to your question, my representaions are fluid, shifting between what is by whim or neccessity appropriate.

On another note, I love the sound of cicada in August. (Sort of like this place now, shriveled, decayed emitting a long, lonely drawn out buzz as opposed to the popular cliche chirping of crickets)

Enjoy your turkey.

I should send you mine inworld but, again, we can't speak about that here.

I think that there is probably a sizable subset of people whose representations, as you say, "fluid," but on the whole -- and I may be wrong, so correct me if you think so -- that most people identify so closely with their avatar that they prefer a more stable representation? I guess what we're coming down to is that old and overused "immersionist-augmentationist" distinction again, although in an odd way, as one might expect augmentationists to want their avatars to more closely represent their RL age, whereas I think that the actual case is that they probably care relatively little about such things. It's the immersionists who likely invest so much in their avatars that they probably mostly avoid fluid representation?

Another indication, perhaps, that the distinctions are much more complicated than the binary suggests.

(I like cicadas too, so long as I don't actually have to see one. They're kind of ugly, which maybe doesn't speak well of Eos's taste in men?)

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irihapeti wrote:

when I first played on SL I tried to be older. Which basically meant wearing as few clothes as I could get away with and not go red (:

10 years later I bought my first leather jacket, and I wear it

leath_001.jpg

 

i am turn into my mother I think. Is true bc I went to Muddys instead of Dance Island tonight (:

Actually, I think a leather jacket was one of the very first things I actually paid money for in SL. I still wear those: they are ageless. :-)

Your case though, generally, seems to echo mine. How much longer before we're shopping for ankle-length granny dresses, and scouring the Marketplace for knits?

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I've spent my mid-30s through to mid-40s in SL and my RL clothing choices haven't changed a lot. A bit of weight gain has meant the skinny T-shirts have been repurposed as dusters, but basically I range from casual to dressy as the occasion demands. Among my friends I've always been the one most likely to go the extra mile for a special occasion, and I've never had the spare cash (nor inclination) to slavishly follow fashion.

In SL I can wear what I like, when I like. If that means I fancy going shopping in a rubber catsuit, then off I go. I can go dancing in a tux, a ball-gown or a burlesque corset and barely an eyelid batted. Sometimes it's more about costumes than clothes, and there I have a free rein too. I tend to dress smarter in SL simply because I can.

As for the other signs of aging... many people tell you that they'll grow old gracefully. They sneer at the rich and famous for their plastic surgery, hair transplants and personal trainers. They'd *never* go that far to look good.

But if it was as easy as it is in SL, they probably would. I would.

The reason we don't is often because we can't. Most of it is expensive, time-consuming and horribly unreliable. In SL, though, the equivalent is cheap, quick and flawlessly effective. And most importantly, if you don't like the result, instantly reversible. Finding an older, wrinkled skin is more difficult than a smooth, youthful one. Wearing an older shape can (doesn't have to, but can) make fitting standard mesh sizes more difficult. Youth has become the default.

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Sy Beck wrote:

You ask for views from older users and then reference ancient Greece.  Quite how old you think some of us are I'll let pass.  Anyway, I believe you and I fall roughly within the same age range and whether it's cultural or the acceptance of age I too have set aside my youthful phase, which much like yours, seemed to go on 10 yrs longer than nature intended and I think I've now made that
cultural leap of jumping from fashion to style
.

Wow. That's a really wonderful distinction. I wish I'd made it! And yes, it probably describes, to some degree, what I've undergone, at least insofar as "fashion" can represent the ways in which we choose to identify with a particular cultural subset (in my case, I guess, sort of trendy-lefty postpunk/alt). I do think that that is less a concern now, in SL and RL, and so I've made the same leap.

However, for males in SL the range of clothes styles is far fewer than what are available for women so the availability of options that are reflected in real life just don't exist.  At one end of the scale you have an androgynous Asian style, hipsters filling the middle range and a Sears catalogue and formal suit combination taking up the other end.  Not to say that rare examples don't occur, but that's the general impression I get.  I think it's far easier for a man to find a better range of fancy dress outfits than anything "appropriate" to post 30s.

Maybe the lack of choice for men is a kind of apt revenge, as it is generally much more socially acceptable to be an older man than an older woman (just ask Hollywood).

As regards body parts I've always kept mine to my rl proportions though saying that I should possibly review it.  Looking downwards right now then if I do have a six pack stomach it's being carried in a rather padded bag.  Hair is more problematic I guess for men than women.  I don't recall ever seeing a balding man in SL.  Grey hair I've seen occasionally, but very rarely on a woman avatar if ever; then again irl I rarely see grey-haired women anymore.

One of the ironies is that my first avatar generally wore platinum or even just "white" hair with streaks, at a time when, in RL, I really had just a few streaks of grey, but my current avatar is brunette with streaks, even as my RL grey hair has grown apace. I don't think there's actually a connection between those, but maybe I'm wrong, and it's subconscious?

So in conclusion I would say that much like Western society endeavours to stay ever young looking then art will reflect life, but of course it's a lot simpler and cheaper to achieve it in Second Life and requires no dieting, exercise or beauty regimes to be adopted.  Meanwhile in real life, industries and consumers will aspire to reach the day when life will imitate art and you can fall out of bed in the morning and with one click you can be washed, dressed to the nines and looking like a 20 yr old; teleporting would be cool though.

A good point. Maybe shifts in cultural attitudes and affordances in RL even within the last 10 years have changed our attitude to age? Is it less acceptable in RL to be "old" because it's become easier to avoid looking it? Are RL and SL converging in that regard?

P.S. Good to see you back though, as Derek hinted, this forum has become arid.  Though your neo-progressive 3rd wave feminist nonsense may get me checking in more :matte-motes-big-grin-wink:

Thank you! It does seem a bit, as you say, "arid" here -- but it's been sort of that way for a few years now, really. I'll do my best to enliven things for at least a little bit with more of my particular brand of nonsense! ;-)

 

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Kelli May wrote:

I've spent my mid-30s through to mid-40s in SL and my RL clothing choices haven't changed a lot. A bit of weight gain has meant the skinny T-shirts have been repurposed as dusters, but basically I range from casual to dressy as the occasion demands. Among my friends I've always been the one most likely to go the extra mile for a special occasion, and I've never had the spare cash (nor inclination) to slavishly follow fashion.

In SL I can wear what I like, when I like. If that means I fancy going shopping in a rubber catsuit, then off I go. I can go dancing in a tux, a ball-gown or a burlesque corset and barely an eyelid batted. Sometimes it's more about costumes than clothes, and there I have a free rein too. I tend to dress smarter in SL simply because I can.

As for the other signs of aging... many people tell you that they'll grow old gracefully. They sneer at the rich and famous for their plastic surgery, hair transplants and personal trainers. They'd *never* go that far to look good.

But if it was as easy as it is in SL, they probably would. I would.

The reason we don't is often because we can't. Most of it is expensive, time-consuming and horribly unreliable. In SL, though, the equivalent is cheap, quick and flawlessly effective. And most importantly, if you don't like the result, instantly reversible. Finding an older, wrinkled skin is more difficult than a smooth, youthful one. Wearing an older shape can (doesn't have to, but can) make fitting standard mesh sizes more difficult. Youth has become the default.

I think you and I probably fit within pretty much exactly the same age/cultural box, Kelli, so I recognize in myself some of what you are saying. I do, as you say, dress smarter in SL because I can, and I'm certainly not going to pretend that I've gone to great lengths to age my avatar, who now probably looks at least a decade younger than me.

Your point about youth and the SL default somewhat mirrors something I said in a blog post a while ago . . . that what we would by RL standards call "sexy" is actually the norm here, with the result that being perceived as sexy in SL requires something like hypersexualization. And that being "ugly" or "old" here requires a significant effort, and is therefore a reflection of conscious choice rather than, you know . . . gravity. ;-)

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LaskyaClaren wrote:

I think you and I probably fit within pretty much exactly the same age/cultural box, Kelli, so I recognize in myself some of what you are saying. I do, as you say, dress smarter in SL because I can, and I'm certainly not going to pretend that I've gone to great lengths to age my avatar, who now probably looks at least a decade younger than me.

Your point about youth and the SL default somewhat mirrors something I said in a blog post a while ago . . . that what we would by RL standards call "sexy" is actually the norm here, with the result that being perceived as sexy in SL requires something like hypersexualization. And that being "ugly" or "old" here requires a significant effort, and is therefore a reflection of conscious choice rather than, you know . . . gravity. ;-)

On the point of sexualisation: a dress I was wearing recently was seen as fairly demure, yet it was sleeveless, mid-thigh and the bottom four inches of hem were crochet... more holes than fabric!).

In RL it'd be something you'd need a fashion model body to carry off (and yay,in SL, most of us do) and would still be considered extremely revealing. In SL, it was everyday, and if anything, unusual because it wasn't that extreme.

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Nice to see a longer post, in excellent English, and posing a question that requires more thought than a C&P from the Answers Forum.  Refreshing!

Venus has been in SL nearly 9 years.  I tend to dress her in whatever pleases her operator on a given day (occasionally more than once in a day).  I don't pay much attention to the age factor although she has worn skin that appears a bit older (just to one friend, mind you, who I think doesn't wear her glasses as often as she should).  What has improved is the quality of mesh clothing and accessories.  I am much more picky because I can be.

So, no, Venus has not aged much in the past nine years but she's learned a few things along the way.

P.S. I still have those boots you like.

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Kelli May wrote:


LaskyaClaren wrote:

I think you and I probably fit within pretty much exactly the same age/cultural box, Kelli, so I recognize in myself some of what you are saying. I do, as you say, dress smarter in SL because I can, and I'm certainly not going to pretend that I've gone to great lengths to age my avatar, who now probably looks at least a decade younger than me.

Your point about youth and the SL default somewhat mirrors something I said in a blog post a while ago . . . that what we would by RL standards call "sexy" is actually the norm here, with the result that being perceived as sexy in SL requires something like hypersexualization. And that being "ugly" or "old" here requires a significant effort, and is therefore a reflection of conscious choice rather than, you know . . . gravity. ;-)

On the point of sexualisation: a dress I was wearing recently was seen as fairly demure, yet it was sleeveless, mid-thigh and the bottom four inches of hem were crochet... more holes than fabric!).

In RL it'd be something you'd need a fashion model body to carry off (and yay,in SL, most of us do) and would still be considered extremely revealing. In SL, it was everyday, and if anything, unusual because it wasn't that extreme.

Yes, indeed.

My clothing tends, generally, to be pretty demure, and always has been, really, except on rare occasions when I was deliberately being provocative. But I had the curious experience a few years ago of being sort of told off by a friend and feminist colleague over an off-the-shoulder top I was wearing that displayed a fair but not excessive amount of cleavage. It struck me as a silly response both in the context of modern-day feminism, and of Second Life more generally, but it did highlight some interesting possibilities for departures from the SL norm on sexualization.

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Venus Petrov wrote:

Nice to see a longer post, in excellent English, and posing a question that requires more thought than a C&P from the Answers Forum.  Refreshing!

Venus has been in SL nearly 9 years.  I tend to dress her in whatever pleases her operator on a given day (occasionally more than once in a day).  I don't pay much attention to the age factor although she has worn skin that appears a bit older (just to one friend, mind you, who I think doesn't wear her glasses as often as she should).  What has improved is the quality of mesh clothing and accessories.  I am much more picky because I can be.

So, no, Venus has not aged much in the past nine years but she's learned a few things along the way.

P.S. I still have those boots you like.

Thanks for the kind words Venus. :-)

I think your attitude is probably the healthiest one? I've always been a sort of militant "immersionist" in SL in theory, but in practice I really tend towards the augmentationist, with the result that I admire people who can make and remake themselves in SL even as I myself am more comfortable with a stable identity. Certainly, a sort of obsessive regard for the correspondences between RL and SL selves seems to me to undermine the very point of this place. It should be about "play," in the broader sense of experimentation and exploration.

Re. mesh clothing. Oh god yes. One of the reasons I am so reluctant to bring my older account in-world (although I do on occasion) is that her clothing just looks awful now. It didn't when I bought it, but mesh has raised the bar so much that I'm literally embarrassed to bring her out into public. I suppose a really extended spell of shopping would fix that. Maybe one day.

And with regards to boots . . . like leather jackets -- in fact, even more so -- they know no constraint of age! I still have and wear a pretty wide (and relatively expensive!) range of those, from engineer boots to thigh highs. I'm sure I'll still be wearing them when my avatar is using a walker . . .

And yes, I remember your boots fondly and covetously. ;-)

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LaskyaClaren wrote:

<snip>

We dwindle inside:

<snip>

Age cannot wither us.

Well, which is it?

 

My RL wardrobe is actually older than my SL wardrobe. I hate shopping in both worlds. I weigh about as much as I did in high school, and (thanks to tiny boobs) it's still distributed more or less as it was then. My face is showing signs of age, and I don't wear heels every day anymore, but the part of me that orchestrates it all appears to cause as much or more eye rolling now as it did when I was three. Am I aging? Yes, of course. Am I dwindling or withering? Not without a hopefully silly fight.

A couple days ago, someone necroposted to an old thread of yours, in which we had this exchange...

Me: Nothing sets the mood for a summer party faster than squealing "Look, I'm wearing big-girl pants!" while hiking my sundress over my head to reveal jean shorts.

You: Why am I never invited to parties like this????

I did not reply to your (rhetorical?) question at the time, but I will now...

I've never been invited to a party like that either.

And that's the point.

;-).

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When you start thinking about age...you are indeed getting 'old'.  The bad news is, this does not happen to everyone at the same age.  Some are indeed 'old before their time'.  Equally, as some card once remarked, there is nothing sadder than an old hipster.

 But, hey....why not drag down SL with it's potential miracles that we would dearly love to have available in RL, and make it more like RL is for many as they wither on the vine?

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


LaskyaClaren wrote:

<snip>

We dwindle inside:

<snip>

Age cannot wither us.

Well, which is it?

Well, it's both, isn't it? That's the essential contradiction: the growing disconnect between how we represent in a virtual context, and how we live in time in a real one. As an old-fashioned semiotician might put it, there's a gap between the signifier, and the signified.

I'm not actually necessarily suggesting that this 
is
a big problem, though. I'm more curious as to how we handle it.

 

My RL wardrobe is actually older than my SL wardrobe. I hate shopping in both worlds. I weigh about as much as I did in high school, and (thanks to tiny boobs) it's still distributed more or less as it was then. My face is showing signs of age, and I don't wear heels every day anymore, but the part of me that orchestrates it all appears to cause as much or more eye rolling now as it did when I was three. Am I aging? Yes, of course. Am I dwindling or withering? Not without a hopefully silly fight.

If it comes to a fight, my money's on you.

I think there's a distinction to be made about being "true" to the things that are core to who we are -- which in your case, seems to involve traits that invoke eye-rolling -- and clinging to things that are time- and age-contingent. I think aging . . . whether it's the transition from 10 years of age to 14, or the slower but no less dramatic shift from 35 to 45 -- is an important thing, because it shows that we are changing, dynamic, fluid beings. And it's not all negative, after all.

And I hate shopping too. But I probably owe it to poor Scylla to engage in some in-world consumerism one day.
 

 

A couple days ago, someone necroposted to
, in which we had this exchange...

Me: Nothing sets the mood for a summer party faster than squealing "Look, I'm wearing big-girl pants!" while hiking my sundress over my head to reveal jean shorts.

You: 
Why am I never invited to parties like this????

I did not reply to your (rhetorical?) question at the time, but I will now...

I've never been invited to a party like that either.

And that's the point.

;-).

Maybe the true point is that we should be HOSTING a party like that?

 

PS. I want to institute a new forum feature: you're not permitted to necropost in an old thread until you demonstrate at least a Grade 6 level of reading comprehension.

 

 

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Hoshi Kenin wrote:

When you start thinking about age...you are indeed getting 'old'.  The bad news is, this does not happen to everyone at the same age.  Some are indeed 'old before their time'.  Equally, as some card once remarked, there is nothing sadder than an old hipster.

 But, hey....why not drag down SL with it's potential miracles that we would dearly love to have available in RL, and make it more like RL is for many as they wither on the vine?

I'm far from advocating for a sort of one-to-one correspondence of avatar "age" with our own chronological age. In fact, I'm sort of a committed "immersionist," in theory anyway, and have no problems with all sorts of dissonance between how we represent, and how we are defined in RL.

That said, I do think that there are some interesting questions that arise from tendency to remain relatively "static" in SL even as we change in RL. Part of that is that "change," even in age, isn't necessarily always or in every regard a bad thing. And part of it is, too, that the fact that 90% (or more) of us represent as 20-somethings says a whole lot about RL attitudes towards age that we are, apparently, unwilling to question in SL. So, are we really employing SL in this regard as a "potential miracle" . . . or are we just using it to mindlessly reflect an ageist agenda pushed in RL by advertisers, the fashion industry, the entertainment industry, etc.?

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Long time, no see!  I hope all is well by you.

And a good topic, something that may actually cause some people to think.  We will pray that they don't hurt themselves.  ;)

I am currently reading on a bit of a whim a curious book entitled, 'Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.'  In it one of the key charachters, a vampire named Henry talks about aging.  I'm summarizing a bit here.  He states that the first hundred years as a vampire "are exciting ones learning how to ensare victims and amass wealth, fulfilling evert imaginable desire of the flesh......"  And then he adds, "it's all great fun."

By the time the second hundred years arrive they find that their minds are starving, so they pour through libraries and books, take up music and painting...."  All great intelectual endeavors.

But by the third century he states, "The intoxication of etenity has worn rather thin."

Perhaps there is an analogy to SL in this. 

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Perrie Juran wrote:

Long time, no see!  I hope all is well by you.

And a good topic, something that may actually cause some people to think.  We will pray that they don't hurt themselves.  
;)

I am currently reading on a bit of a whim a curious book entitled, 'Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.'  In it one of the key charachters, a vampire named Henry talks about aging.  I'm summarizing a bit here.  He states that the first hundred years as a vampire "are exciting ones learning how to ensare victims and amass wealth, fulfilling evert imaginable desire of the flesh......"  And then he adds, "it's all great fun."

By the time the second hundred years arrive they find that their minds are starving, so they pour through libraries and books, take up music and painting...."  All great intelectual endeavors.

But by the third century he states, "The intoxication of etenity has worn rather thin."

Perhaps there is an analogy to SL in this. 

/me waves happily

Well, I sort of wonder that too. But while our virtual bodies might change in only unsubstantial ways, our habits, interests, and predilections surely continue to evolve, sometimes perhaps in age-contingent ways, so perhaps we can get at least a century of so of enjoyment out of SL before it gets stale.

It might, after all, take that long before Project Sansar or High Fidelity get off the ground, and we are all transfigured into gloriously angelic new avatars.

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LaskyaClaren wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

Long time, no see!  I hope all is well by you.

And a good topic, something that may actually cause some people to think.  We will pray that they don't hurt themselves.  
;)

I am currently reading on a bit of a whim a curious book entitled, 'Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer.'  In it one of the key charachters, a vampire named Henry talks about aging.  I'm summarizing a bit here.  He states that the first hundred years as a vampire "are exciting ones learning how to ensare victims and amass wealth, fulfilling evert imaginable desire of the flesh......"  And then he adds, "it's all great fun."

By the time the second hundred years arrive they find that their minds are starving, so they pour through libraries and books, take up music and painting...."  All great intelectual endeavors.

But by the third century he states, "The intoxication of etenity has worn rather thin."

Perhaps there is an analogy to SL in this. 

/me waves happily

Well, I sort of wonder that too. But while our virtual bodies might change in only unsubstantial ways, our habits, interests, and predilections surely continue to evolve, sometimes perhaps in age-contingent ways, so perhaps we can get at least a century of so of enjoyment out of SL before it gets stale.

It might, after all, take that long before Project Sansar or High Fidelity get off the ground, and we are all transfigured into gloriously angelic new avatars.

Maybe we can leave Second Life there for the Vampires to stay in.  :D

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LaskyaClaren wrote:



I'm far from advocating for a sort of one-to-one correspondence of avatar "age" with our own chronological age. In fact, I'm sort of a committed "immersionist," in theory anyway, and have no problems with all sorts of dissonance between how we represent, and how we are defined in RL.

That said, I do think that there are some interesting questions that arise from tendency to remain relatively "static" in SL even as we change in RL. Part of that is that "change," even in age, isn't necessarily always or in every regard a bad thing. And part of it is, too, that the fact that 90% (or more) of us represent as 20-somethings says a whole lot about RL attitudes towards age that we are, apparently, unwilling to question in SL. So, are we 
really
employing SL in this regard as a "potential miracle" . . . or are we just using it to mindlessly reflect an ageist agenda pushed in RL by advertisers, the fashion industry, the entertainment industry, etc.?

i dont disagree that we are susceptible sometimes to the desire/need/want to conform. Is other factors as well that come into it

i put one of those factors. Is not The Factor. Is just one of the factors 

+

i had a chat recently with some RL friends of mine who are in a band. Just sitting round after a gig, and end up chatting about stuff like you do

they started out as a school age band. Done the RockQuest, then on to Battle of the Bands. Made a record and vid. Got Mum and Dad to pay for most of it, and all the instruments, and to provide the taxi service (:. Like happens. Dreams of becoming super star rock stars. Like happens

They are now in their 30s. They have two performance session personas. They have their original music sets which they play in cafes and other tiny venues, to their quite small following. They also have covers session sets that they play to larger audiences in the pubs on Thu, Fri, Sat night. They are muso grinders. Play anything anywhere to anyone

+

in the convo one of them said:

when we play our own stuff to our following then we connect with them as ourself. The audience connects with us as themself. As 30 somethings typically. Our following grew up with us. Our music has evolved with age. As have our following. And we are friends with many of them

he then said that is different with the pub crowd. He said that when we play covers, we play a lot of stuff from our youth and from the ages before also, mixed in with more modern stuff

when a 30s-40s-50s+ is dancing (a little bit intoxicated sometimes) to a song from their youth then they arent dancing as a 30-40s-50s+. They are dancing as a teenager. They are transported back in time. In their minds and memories. They are young again, for those moments. We see this every weekend, in 1000s of faces, on 1000s of nights for over the 10 years now that we have been playing the pubs

+

SL is a bit like this as well I think. Sometimes we connect with others of our own age as ourselves, and other times we dont

when we dont then we are dancing (a little bit intoxicated) as our younger selfs once more. In our minds and memories, for those moments

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irihapeti wrote:

he then said that is different with the pub crowd. He said that when we play covers, we play a lot of stuff from our youth and from the ages before also, mixed in with more modern stuff

when a 30s-40s-50s+ is dancing (a little bit intoxicated sometimes) to a song from their youth then they arent dancing as a 30-40s-50s+. They are dancing as a teenager. They are transported back in time. In their minds and memories. They are young again, for those moments. We see this every weekend, in 1000s of faces, on 1000s of nights for over the 10 years now that we have been playing the pubs

+

SL is a bit like this as well I think. Sometimes we connect with others of our own age as ourselves, and other times we dont

when we dont then we are dancing (a little bit intoxicated) as our younger selfs once more. In our minds and memories, for those moments

That is so in line with what I've experienced in the times I've been one of the (possibly intoxicated) dancers in RL. When a live band is playing, in earnest, tunes of my youth I (and my usual dancing partner, my spouse) are dancing in our youth. I mean we don't think of it that way when it's happening but in truth that is exactly what is taking place.

I was already well aware of the fact that it takes place in SL; I've sensed that about myself almost all along. But I'd never really tied that effect to similar RL experience 'til just now. Thank you for including that thought.

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LaskyaClaren wrote:

And part of it is, too, that the fact that 90% (or more) of us represent as 20-somethings says a whole lot about RL attitudes towards age that we are, apparently, unwilling to question in SL. So, are we 
really
employing SL in this regard as a "potential miracle" . . . or are we just using it to mindlessly reflect an ageist agenda pushed in RL by advertisers, the fashion industry, the entertainment industry, etc.?


I haven't been skin shopping in more than five years, so I may have missed the development of middle aged female faces. I worked with what was available. Even given the skins of five years ago, I don't think my avatar looks 20 something. My RL wardrobe hasn't changed in the last five years, there's no reason my SL wardrobe should.

Mags Indigo worked pretty hard to age her SL face. I think she did a good job of it, yet she was never happy with the look. SL just doesn't offer much for those who want to look their physical age. That said, Parheliion Palou is drop dead gorgeous (sorry Par!) with grey hair and weathering. Were I here more, I'd probably go looking for a skin that's more reflective of the 45 years of wisdom that continues to elude me.

That said, irihapeti's got it. If you carefully watch my Mom playing with children, you might only see children. I think we can all do this (and appreciate it in others) to varying degrees, depending on the circumstances. If we're seeking affirmation, or feel more comfortable conforming, the circumstances will dictate where we go, but we will go. If we don't give a damn, the circumstances don't matter,. That's when the eye-rolling (and real fun) starts. I do love to be around people who can age surf with me, but it's not necessary.

I don't think I've met anyone who's pretending to be younger at heart than they are. Have you?

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