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unicorncube

Does the way your avatar look affect forming bonds?

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Posted (edited)

We should include the thread that was started not long ago to showcase system avatars. I'm looking for it but not finding it. When I do find it I'll edit this post with the link.

 

Found it.

 

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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2 minutes ago, Skell Dagger said:

This might be a good point in the thread to celebrate what could/can be done with a system avatar. I already spent yesterday digging all the way back through over 3,500 photos in my Flickr archive for another project, but I've just gone back far enough again to find some images that feature no mesh body parts whatsoever. Yes, some of the clothing is mesh (but even more of it is system and sculpt), but the avatar itself is wholly system. No mesh head, mesh body, mesh hands, or mesh feet.

Let's show the possibilities and what we could/can do, shall we?

This perfectly illustrates the difference (as I see it, at least) between the "don't speak to me unless you're fully mesh" types and someone like me, to whom visuals do matter. You look fantastic in those shots, your avatar clearly is the result of a great deal of care and attention, and you're not just another Ken doll - your avatar reflects who you are. And that's fantastic.

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1 hour ago, Ren Toxx said:

Here’s a quote I rather like, from an A.J. Quinnell novel:

“Her beauty controlled her mind. From an early age it had allowed her to tread different paths from most women. It was a weapon, and a vehicle in which to travel through life. An armored vehicle, protecting her from discomfort and indignity. She had a good mind and in a body even slightly less beautiful it would have been free to expand and develop and see beyond the circle of light which her beauty illuminated. But when the vehicle moved, the shadows were pushed back and she could not see them.”

 

I’ve seen quite a few system avatars who broke through the sea of indifference and got enough appreciation and warmth, by resorting from the beginning to things you definitely can’t buy from the Marketplace: charisma, niceness, intelligence, humour.

Sure, you can also get more IMs and invitations and friendship requests and whatnot, by making yourself shiny, but... what kind of people sends those IMs, invitations and requests? Are they interested by your personality, is that the first thing they’ll try to know more of? Or are they just looking for shiny and, at best, shiny is all they’ll have to offer in return?

Believe me or not I made good friends that I would never ever made if I was classic old avi. And they last.. I am sure we would not met if I looked like  noob. They have cool well made avi theyput lot of effort to create. And even nicer personality. If I need help or advice they are always ready to help. 

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21 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

There was a time, several decades ago, when all I cared about was if the guy was good looking or not. 

Since then, I've grown to understand that I don't want to be that shallow of a person.

5 Traits That Separate Shallow People from Deep Ones

I’ve dated some gorgeous guys with terrible personalities, so now I am pretty leery when they “hit me up”. 

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6 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I’ve dated some gorgeous guys with terrible personalities, so now I am pretty leery when they “hit me up”. 

I have to be leery of all guys. I learned (the hard way again) to not place so much trust and faith into others. Too many of them will eff you over every chance they get.

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56 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

5 Traits That Separate Shallow People from Deep Ones

According to #2 the rest of the article is hogwash. :D

 

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yes and no.

there are still people running around from the old days in very very old outdated avatars that still are having fun and enjoying themselves.

however for the most part it seems most are in mesh. and while i hated mesh to start with because i thought it was laggy (it still is and often can take forever to load) i find now that with the right mesh setup you can make a pretty awesome avatar (IF you put the real time and effort into it).

and many people now days apparently wont even talk to you unless you have a mesh avie. soo in my view there is nothing wrong with investing a bit into that.

but if you want to run around in an outdated avatar with that horrible "linden hair" when second life first came out.  your totally free to do that and im sure you can still make friends in doing so.

but its def worthwhile to at least consider checking out mesh options 😉 if you plan to stay in second life long term there is nothing wrong with doing so.

for me im finally taking the big plunge into the world of mesh avatars and i wont be looking back! actually i think for me i had the trouble of getting into drama (as evidence in previous posts)  and i think for me a bit more of an investment might convince me to have a bit more patience for second life and make better connections and ignore the ones i should let alone ;-).

 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, AyelaNewLife said:

On the other hand, every single time I've seen someone say (in conversation or profile) that mesh avatars are "all style and no substance", without exception they have quickly demonstrated that their avatar is the most attractive thing about them. There's a massive difference between having personal preferences and being openly judgemental and acting all holier-than-thou, regardless of which side of this "debate" you're on.

 

Agreed, a person's appearance in game (or the real world, for that matter) doesn't equate to their personality.  I'm sorry to hear that you've met folks that far gone on the anti-mesh mindset that they have to put it in their profile.  I just don't get it.  Pixel snobery is pixel snobery, regardless of whether you're up in arms over someone else's choice to be a furry, a vampire, a Linden freebie avi, a classic avi, or a mesh avi.  Because the bottom line is it's THEIR choice to make, not ours.  And it's sad that folks would skip over meeting a cool person just because they have {Insert Prejudice Here}.  Note that this happens in the real world, too -- I have friends with kids with Downe's Syndrome, another who's a leader in gaining acceptance for those with cranio-facial issues, and some friends in wheelchairs.  So it's sad when the same attitude creeps into a game.  But again, that's human nature, as exemplified by Seuss's book.

Edited by Rabid Cheetah

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@unicorncube A friend of mine was discussing this very issue with me a few days ago; she's gone to a lot of effort and expense to look nice while a male friend of hers (who finds the newbie look to be just fine for himself for the past several years) was dissing female avatars who remain in their 'newbie' look (for whatever reason) and how he wasn't interested in friending them because "they're too lazy to look nice".

Almost fell off my chair in fits of laughter.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2019 at 1:36 PM, unicorncube said:

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

I'm going to be honest here, even if it flies in the face of public opinion. It is after all only MY opinion here and not gospel, so take that for what it's worth.

My initial answer to the question is quite simply; YES. Once you get over the knee-jerk reaction of my apparent bias, I'll explain why.

The entire premise of Second Life is that people can be what they want, do what they want, look how they want... which is why I can't understand some people's choice to remain as a generic default avatar - or avatars that look as they did 10 years ago. Okay, personal tastes aside, it could be a question of affordability, and beauty is subjective in the eye of the beholder. What appeals to me will not appeal to everyone, I also understand that. But there's a distinct difference between someone who really wants to look good or put together an avatar that they feel represents this ideal they have, compared to those that simply don't bother trying to embrace the possibilities that SL affords at all.

Now it's true, people don't have to try if they don't want to. It's their Second Life to do as they see fit. They shouldn't need to impress anyone if they don't want, and power to them for doing their own thing. But in my eyes, since my opinion has been asked, your avatar says a lot about you, just as how you choose to dress yourself and style your hair and present yourself everyday in the real world says a lot about the real you. People judge you in your everyday real life. You can bet they are judging you here in the virtual world too. It's human nature. It's habit; and some of us are more judgemental than others. Maybe in a virtual setting it's a pointless endeavor too. But a quick glance at any avatar can tell you something about a person's tastes; whether they're into fantasy, or highly eroticised, or imaginative, or a realist, or even possibly a troll before they even open their mouths or say a single word in local or in a mic. Looks DO matter even if again we know we're not actually looking at anything "real", just virtual representations. And visual stimulus DOES effect our brains. It stimulates our senses. Watch your favourite TV soap and you'll find yourself drawn to certain characters and repulsed by others. Sights evoke responses, and it's no different in this virtual world. Visuals are what we are here for.

Over the years I've been approached by random men and women looking for sexual encounters. Back in the day when I was a noob myself I didn't care how anyone else looked. Now I certainly do. This change happened because I started changing how I looked. The more effort I put into creating my avatar the more I started recognising the fact others weren't. I couldn't understand it and I still don't, but that doesn't make either of us wrong, it's just a matter of opinion. If given the choice for let's say "romantic relations" between a default "noob" looking avatar and a nicely proportioned and well constructed mesh avatar, the mesh avatar would win 9/10. Does that make me shallow? Absolutely! But does that mean every mesh avatar is the best choice? No. Visually they appeal, but the second someone opens their mouths any interest I have either grows or evaporates into thin air. Now maybe it's my fault for overlooking the default avatar. I didn't give that person the time of day I should have. I judged them poorly. Maybe they actually were fantastic people that I'll never get the chance to know in that way. That's my mistake. But I equate it to mutual effort; if you're attracted to a well-constructed and otherwise "expensive" looking avatar but can't be bothered committing the same effort or expense for yours then what benefit is there for me? I chose to spend a lot of money. I worked on my shape. I am constantly trying to improve. Why can't you do that so I can experience that same attraction to you?

Cost aside, this isn't a dig at anyone who wishes to appear different. I adore realism. So if your avatar is an amputee or in a wheelchair or anything to that effect I'm not turned off by that. If anything I'm a little more intrigued; the fact you chose to add alphas and wear apparatus in itself shows attempt from the default shapes, and that display of IMAGINATION matters! But I'm certainly not rude enough to ignore anyone regardless how they look. If you're nice to me and say hello I will be nice and say hello back. We might talk. We might become good friends (and I am friends with many "classic" avatars). But in terms of making that initial impression there has to be something there. Maybe not the perfect avatar, maybe amazing character instead; you make me laugh, you're a great conversationalist, we share the same interests etc. But, especially regarding sexual encounters, if you don't visually appeal to me in any way, then the deed just won't happen. I want to enjoy what I see. That's my right. It's a fantasy, and fantasies are supposed to appeal.

== I want to clarify that I don't jump on the first mesh avatar I see, not at all, but they are the ones most likely to get my attention, especially in a crowd of noobs all wearing the exact same avatar. In short, the better looking or better constructed avatar, the better they stand out 😉==

Going beyond that initial attraction there is of course more effort. The whole 'getting to know you' stage that many overlook with a regrettable message of 'hru?' or 'hi sexy u horny?' It's like that old saying that beauty is only skin deep. An avatar can look absolutely stunning - or revolting - but without substance behind it there won't be anything to build on. So looks are only part of the equation. They get you through the door. Your attitude decides whether you last the distance or not. There has to be shared interests, some initial spark that make us want to keep talking, or stay in contact, or something. That's how friendships - and bonds - build. Once you get to know someone it doesn't matter how you look, but you can bet your friends are still going to judge you, or make recommendations - even if they say they love you just the way you are. Perhaps the best way to describe it is like family; In the real world my mother loves me unconditionally. I love her dearly. But that doesn't mean she stops wishing I'd lose a few pounds, or not get anymore tattoos, or dress more femininely. And I don't resent her for wishing that... It just means we have different opinions. She wants what she thinks is best for me, and I want what I think is best for her. We're both entitled to that.

Now I was a noob for a good long while too. My avatars have always been larger women; they reflect a facet of the real life me. And being fat meant I was often judged by others as being a troll. I wasn't and I'm not. But people still judge. I keep repeating it because regardless how fine-tuned your particular moral compass happens to be, casting judgement is in our nature. In a generalized statement; if I was sitting at a bar next to a size 0 super model, I guarantee most potential dates aren't going to care about my winning personality. At least not in that initial moment we meet. The rest takes time. It takes effort; again, its that whole getting to know each other stage. We can all stand up and proudly declare otherwise as to how we would be the exception, but I am talking generally, and of course that's dependant on personal bias; some might not like super models. But in front of our friends, in front our family, our work colleagues, and so on, in the real world perceptions (and appearances) matter. There are multi-billion dollar industries geared towards serving our vanity and to a lesser degree on the Marketplace too. And before you tell me this is all too much RL and not enough SL, think again. Behind the keyboards we're still human. We bring our beliefs and opinions and bias here. To whatever degree we try and temper it with tact and understanding it's unavoidable. We're fallible. We're flawed. That doesn't make us bad people, just different. There's nothing wrong with that.

Regarding attitudes; if you jump into people's IMs and cause havoc, that makes you ugly. Your avatar might be nice to look at but your attitude stains it. No amount of money is going to make you a better person (or avatar), and sadly there's a vast majority of people in SL who act as though looks equate to supremacy. That's not the case at all. In my eyes there's no competition to see who can look the best, be the best, have the best like there's some point to prove. But at the end of the day we are a competitive species and is the human condition to want bigger and better and keep up with the proverbial Joneses.

I know the question wasn't intended as such, but I'll also add a final point; While people may treat you a certain way depending on your appearance, they will also treat you a certain way when you are not. Case in point; role play. For instance, your avatar has taken the job of a police officer. There are certain expectations people have as to how police officers should look. Unless you fashion your avatar accordingly, you risk ruining the immersion for others. And it will influence how you are treated by others. It seems like an overly simple statement, but as a former RP Region owner I can tell you that commonsense is not common. It's barely occasional. And even this can be polarizing. How you look can affect how others write. It effects how stories develop. There's a power to that, that not a lot of people seem to comprehend. Bonds are often formed in RP; I met my best friend this way, and she confessed to me years later that it was my "attention to detail" that caught her attention. She IMd me. We got to talking, and have been friends ever since. So in the long run I really do think appearances matter - in an ideal world they probably shouldn't, but they do - but that's only my (rather longwinded) opinion. ;) 

Edited by RaeLeeH
Clarification on a point. :)
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