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unicorncube

Does the way your avatar look affect forming bonds?

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Or maybe the better question is should the way your avatar look affect forming bonds?

Rather we like to admit it or not I think it is human to judge and sometimes that the first impression is all you'll ever get. We do it in rl so I'm sure many of us do it in sl too. But I suppose the main gist of my question is does how another's avatar look determine if you will befriend them. I'm not talking extreme cases i.e. people with trolly avatars but let's say you have a very nice, very beautiful bento/maitreya human avatar would you be open to conversing and possibly becoming friends with someone who is dressed as a furry, an animal, a toon, an anime character or a very basic newbie avatar? 

I never really gave this much thought until the other day when I came across some friendship panels in which someone wrote, in so many words, that they take pride in their avatar and only wanted possible friends who were up on the latest fashion and didn't look like they just spawned in-world for the first time. 

Though I can see the advantages of having experienced and aesthetically pleasing avatar as friends I mostly think it's very secondary to the content of the person's character behind the avatar. You can have the most drop-dead gorgeous, exclusive item having avatar ever and be a raging jerk underneath all those pixels. But then again maybe I'm taking this stance because I would undoubtedly be the ugly avatar friend with my very specific anime-inspired avatars. 

Your thoughts?

(Please forgive any typos that might be in my text.) 

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This is one of those ethical type scenarios where there is no wrong or right answer. 

Some people are jerks. Others are not. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, norajulian said:

This is one of those ethical type scenarios where there is no wrong or right answer. 

Some people are jerks. Others are not. 

True, but I'm not searching for the right or wrong answer - (though I do have my very own strong opinion on the matter) as I really do think if you take emotions out of the equation the 'right-wrong' answer doesn't exist in this case.  Sorry if my title made it sound that way. I'm more or less interested in different people's thoughts on the matter.

Edited by unicorncube

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I have never understood "We can't be friends unless you're all mesh and wear all mesh". I understand human beings are visual creatures but considering how often mesh in sl has unnecessarily high triangle counts among other issues it really does betray a sense of "All style and no substance". People are also extremely picky about brands ("He has to be catwa to be seen with me"), as though spending 5000K lindens is an actual reflection of morals.

 

Human beings are baffling.

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2 minutes ago, ProletarianGothic said:

I have never understood "We can't be friends unless you're all mesh and wear all mesh". I understand human beings are visual creatures but considering how often mesh in sl has unnecessarily high triangle counts among other issues it really does betray a sense of "All style and no substance". People are also extremely picky about brands ("He has to be catwa to be seen with me"), as though spending 5000K lindens is an actual reflection of morals.

 

Human beings are baffling.

I agree. But I thought to myself, maybe trying to rationalize the panel I saw, that the person wanted an experienced looking avatar because they didn't want to bother teaching new players things? I think it was unlikely in her case but maybe some people view status avatars that way. But maybe I'm just looking for the best in shallow people. 

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Its not just newbies though, there's a lot of happily system people out there and just focusing so much on that single trait seems like a big red flag for anyone looking at their panel.

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It is a big red flag. A HUGE red flag. Come to think about it, lots of huge red flags.

People like that have no place in my life, RL or SL.

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I don't judge avatars, I judge profiles. Hate me. I'm not sure if that makes me worse, better, or equal to the avatar snobs.

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Yeah, I don't judge the avis. My best friend has a ghoul as an avatar lol But I dont let things like that get to me or determine if I should be friends. 

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IM conversation is where friendship begins and it will either work or it won't.

I've found friends from group chat without knowing what they look like. It doesn't bother me what the Forum people look like here either.

The time when I do scope profiles and how the avi looks is when I get hit on out of the blue. Profile content matters more than looks in this case and I might be put off by what I read.

 

 

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I do sort of judge other people by their avatar, but not in the way that the OP suggests.

Unlike in RL, you have absolute control over how your avatar looks. So I find that the appearance an avatar chooses is a good reflection of their personality and their priorities. What do they choose to spend their money on (however much or little of it they have)? How much imagination do they show? Do they want to blend in with the crowd or stand out as something different?  Are they a slave to mainstream fashion or do they rebel against the trends and follow their own style?

I'm more interested in the latter, because they usually have much more in common with me.

I don't care if they are classic avatars or animals or furries or anime characters or anything else though. In fact I am probably somewhat biased towards these avatar types than away from them.

Dare to be different.

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I do not care about avatar appearance, -- as long as it is not offensive/inappropriate to the general public. I enjoy when people take time to customize of course, whether mesh or not because it's fun to see their imagination but starter avatars eventually get the hang of it and change over time. Most of my friendships start in chat so I don't know anything about their looks, only the way they come across and what their profile says. If anything I judge from profiles since I read them so much in my free time. 

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I've got to admit, it's nice to know that the biggest consensus thus far seems to be that it doesn't matter what your avatar looks like. I have to admit that panel kind of got into my head and made me think maybe I won't make any good connections with people because many will shy away from me because I'm not sporting SL Gucci. But I had also made up my mind regardless of what kind of response this thread got that I wouldn't change being what I liked on the chance more people would be willing to chat with me if I blended in more. So, yeah this is kinda putting my mind to ease that most still believe inner substance over outward fashion. 

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“Does”? Yes and no. It creates opportunities for bonding, by drawing attention that might otherwise go elsewhere. But I can count on one hand how many good, lasting bonds resulted in all my 10 SL years from what might’ve initially been just the avatar’s “wow” factor.

“Should”? No. Only yesterday, a guy spent the better part of an hour trying to convince me that his opening, impulse praise of my avatar was not just the first step, but in fact all the steps necessary for me to declare an effective friendship with him. He would’ve gotten exactly nowhere even if he hadn’t been tripping over himself with so much faulty logic, I actually ended up laughing hard and considered continuing the absurd conversation just for the giggles.

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There is nothing morally superior about having an “attractive” or updated avatar, and I am 100 times more likely to form a friendship based on conversation. Like others, I do judge profiles, and judge the heck out of those demanding a person’s cartoon representation look a certain way before deigning to speak to them.  

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11 hours ago, norajulian said:

This is one of those ethical type scenarios where there is no wrong or right answer. 

Some people are jerks. Others are not. 

This pretty much sums it all up. Nothing more to see or say, move along.

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The answer is yes and no,

I like people because I enjoy conversations with them and that doesn't depend on how you look.

Where looks come in is in initial contact however, I am more likely to talk to a girl who has a well turned out avi than one who hasn't bothered. However if I am somewhere where I am a little bored I will start profile perving and may contact you because of something you wrote there

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hmmm.... does the way your avatar looks affect forming bonds, well yeah, I suppose it does. An interesting av will get my attention, and that is generally the first step in any bond. It is not the most important factor by any means, like most other people have said, how the avatar behaves makes a much bigger difference. 

As for should it, I don't  like shoulds. I don't like judging or being judged and I hate rules. 

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Posted (edited)

Its about personality and body languages how you carry it not all looks  people with beautiful soul and beautiful mind that last forever but looks fade.

Edited by ChrissaStone
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I would never judge someone for sticking to the basics. I used the classic avatar until about a month ago and I've had an account since 2014. The snapshot in my photo is with the old one. I didn't feel like spending $2500L+ on a mesh body with a complicated HUD and when I was satisfied with the way my avi looked. Honestly my new avi doesn't look very different, it's just a lot easier to find clothes and shoes now, which was my motivation to switch. Turned out the HUD was a lot easier to use than I thought it would be too.

A starter avatar with no customization done is a little off-putting, but it doesn't have to be a huge overhaul.

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Posted (edited)

Even before mesh was a thing, there were still pixel snobs.  Don't we have enough of that b.s. in real life to not have to deal with it in a game of pretend bodies?  WTF?  Back in the old days I used to go around in a deliberately ugly avi and have a blast at all the posh jazz bars.  Most folks laughed along with me.  Gone are the days when SL was fun like that.  Now you have idiot clubs where you can't even get in the door without the owner inspecting you to ensure you're avi fits their standards of snob appeal -- luxury dress, mesh mesh mesh, and you'd better be human and preferably a white one.

Edited by Rabid Cheetah

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What I have learned over the years in SL is to never limit yourself to only experiencing things that you like. Embrace the discomfort and you will expand the range of things you can truly enjoy in the world. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rabid Cheetah said:

Even before mesh was a thing, there were still pixel snobs.  Don't we have enough of that b.s. in real life to not have to deal with it in a game of pretend bodies?  WTF?  Back in the old days I used to go around in a deliberately ugly avi and have a blast at all the posh jazz bars.  Most folks laughed along with me.  Gone are the days when SL was fun like that.  Now you have idiot clubs where you can't even get in the door without the owner inspecting you to ensure you're avi fits their standards of snob appeal -- luxury dress, mesh mesh mesh, and you'd better be human and preferably a white one.

Pretty pixels seem to be a must have for quite a lot of people.

Once i visited a few crowded (partially adult) places, dancing and doing other things with a very good friend who changed his appearance to look like he is from 2007, while im mesh from head to toe. Just for fun and to know whats going to happen. Despite the fact, we just minded our own business and didnt talk to anyone else - you have no idea, how much i got attacked in countless IMs:
"Watch out, a noob!"
"Hurts my eyes to see you being with something like him"
"I bet he doesnt know how to treat you. I´ll teleport you."
"He is ugly, come to me, i have aeros."

Well, that was our kind to have fun, watching all that folks having their eardrums blown by the high pressure steam, coming out from their deeply hurt and boiling soul, fueled by their own anger and envy.

Edited by Resi Pfeffer
typo
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It doesn't affect how I form bonds, but it does unquestionably affect it for others. Not as much in terms of prettiness, but fitting into their fantasy. Some furries/humans will not acknowledge you if you're not the same as them because I suppose you're intruding on their fantasy of everyone being like themselves. Even if it's a non themed club.
 

While (subjectively) good looking and/or unique avatars do make me more likely to initially talk to you, they have no bearing on if we'll get along.

 

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4 hours ago, Resi Pfeffer said:

Pretty pixels seem to be a must have for quite a lot of people.

Once i visited a few crowded (partially adult) places, dancing and doing other things with a very good friend who changed his appearance to look like he is from 2007, while im mesh from head to toe. Just for fun and to know whats going to happen. Despite the fact, we just minded our own business and didnt talk to anyone else - you have no idea, how much i got attacked in countless IMs:
"Watch out, a noob!"
"Hurts my eyes to see you being with something like him"
"I bet he doesnt know how to treat you. I´ll teleport you."
"He is ugly, come to me, i have aeros."

Well, that was our kind to have fun, watching all that folks having their eardrums blown by the high pressure steam, coming out from their deeply hurt and boiling soul, fueled by their own anger and envy.

I believe it.  SL didn't used to be this way, and I despise the pixel snobs who are ruining it for everyone else.  But it is fun to troll them like you guys did.  Heck, you didn't even say anything.  THEY are the N00bz.

I have a friend who was proud of the first object she made, a giant pencil.  It looked great.  Somehow we got to talking about how I'd made clothes in the old days before you needed third-party programs that cost thousands of dollars and require a PhD in Computer Science to figure out, and the next thing you know she's wearing the pencil as her head.  It was funny and cute.  She was new, so she wanted to go to some place fun.  I took her to a dance club.  We didn't have fun -- she got instantly booted, banned, and muted.  Then they threaterned to do the same to me when I asked why they didn't even bother talking to her.  I gave them a piece of my mind *grin*.

 

This used to be a game for everyone.  Sadly it has devolved into a way for snobby people to show off how much money they've spent on their mesh avi, or blown a month's worth of groceries on an "exclusive" and 'rare" piece of "land" that at the end of the day is just glowing embers on their screen.

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