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Matty Luminos

Avatars with disabilities - random thoughts

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When I first joined SL a little over 3 years ago, I wanted to make my avatar look as close to my RL self as possible. I soon discovered that wasn't going to be possible, because in RL I'm physically disabled (I lost part of an arm in an accident). I did briefly experiment with invisiprims and quickly rejected the idea after realising that it also made a big hole in me when viewed from the side which wasn't at all good.

After an extended hiatus from SL I've come back to find some new developments, in particular, alpha layers which, combined with a realistic sculpted hand means that I can actually reproduce my RL disability quite accurately now.

And yet avatars with noticeable disabilities are extremely rare. Is it weird that I've done this? Is it weirder that I've done it when the rest of my avatar doesn't look like me (I am not a neko in RL for instance)?

Thoughts?

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I wonder why you wonder. It is a part of you (or better, a missing part of you LOL) and that is what counts. Weirdness is in the eyes of the beholder. 

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Sometimes what has happened to us becomes a big part of who we are, at least to ourselves. So I think transferring a part of you into SL is not odd. We can be whatever we want to be, and surprisingly, a lot of times, we wind up being ourselves.

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I think its not weird, cause everyone here is free to make their avatar look like they want. But its not suprising that avatars with disabilites are rare. Most people tend to create their avatar far different from their RL self. Some create their avatar like they always wanted to look like (thats why we have so many modellike avatars here! :matte-motes-big-grin:). Others just want a fantasy charakter or a charakter that is not even human at all. 

 

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It is not weird to do this.  I've seen other avatars that portray disabilities.  I believe it is because it is part of them, as other posters have pointed out.  However some do it so they will be asked and then use it  as a chance to educate people on their disability..

There are a lot of disabled people in SL.  Most choose not to portray their disability.  People I know that are disabled in RL tell me they don't because they want to be treated as everyone else, or they come to SL specifically to do and experience things that they can't in RL. 

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer for this.  Each person must decide for themselves and whatever they decide I have to respect them for it. 

If you continue to feel weird about it or just want to talk to people who may understand how you feel, I suggest you visit the sim Virtual Ability in world.  It is a venue specifically for disabled people where they can meet, socialize and talk to others and even have a place to live.  It is run by a group of very caring people, many of whom are disabled themselves in RL.  They also make specialized orientations and training available for disabled people who need to learn how to use SL with their disability, as well as work with content creators so that those who choose to portray their disability are able to do so in a dignified and realistic manner.

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Your world.  Your imagination.

Make your avatar however you like.  Do not worry how others 'see' you.  I have even seen avatars representing some sort of disability who are not so in RL (as stated in their profiles).  Enjoy your SL.

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Matty Luminos wrote:

When I first joined SL a little over 3 years ago, I wanted to make my avatar look as close to my RL self as possible. I soon discovered that wasn't going to be possible, because in RL I'm physically disabled (I lost part of an arm in an accident). I did briefly experiment with invisiprims and quickly rejected the idea after realising that it also made a big hole in me when viewed from the side which wasn't at all good.

After an extended hiatus from SL I've come back to find some new developments, in particular, alpha layers which, combined with a realistic sculpted hand means that I can actually reproduce my RL disability quite accurately now.

And yet avatars with noticeable disabilities are extremely rare. Is it weird that I've done this? Is it weirder that I've done it when the rest of my avatar doesn't look like me (I am not a neko in RL for instance)?

Thoughts?

HI Matty!  I find Secondlife to be in many ways, an extension of my own RL self.  I would dare to bet that many others do too.  So weird?  Not at all.  You are doing the same as anyone would do.  Try to project you RL self, into your Avatar!  Dig? 

 

Peace!

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It's all personal preference on how YOU decide YOUR AV looks;if you're comfortable with your AV having the same diability as your RL persona does, it's your right to do so. Maybe even make a story as to why,since you're a neko it could be due to some altercation with another 'Hey, you think THIS is bad, you should see the other guy!'. I have a friend in SL that has a bad leg in RL but prefers not to display that on his AV, which is fine cus it's his choice, but he also states that he's not over 7' in RL either. It's good to break from the norm & do your own thing ;)

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Matty Luminos wrote:

When I first joined SL a little over 3 years ago, I wanted to make my avatar look as close to my RL self as possible. I soon discovered that wasn't going to be possible, because in RL I'm physically disabled (I lost part of an arm in an accident). I did briefly experiment with invisiprims and quickly rejected the idea after realising that it also made a big hole in me when viewed from the side which wasn't at all good.

After an extended hiatus from SL I've come back to find some new developments, in particular, alpha layers which, combined with a realistic sculpted hand means that I can actually reproduce my RL disability quite accurately now.

And yet avatars with noticeable disabilities are extremely rare. Is it weird that I've done this? Is it weirder that I've done it when the rest of my avatar doesn't look like me (I am not a neko in RL for instance)?

Thoughts?

Weird? Nah. You don't have a choice about your presentation in RL, the accident set you on a new course. Here you do have a choice. In a world where you can wear any skin you wish, being comfortable in your own is a sign of strength.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Matty Luminos wrote:

When I first joined SL a little over 3 years ago, I wanted to make my avatar look as close to my RL self as possible. I soon discovered that wasn't going to be possible, because in RL I'm physically disabled (I lost part of an arm in an accident). I did briefly experiment with invisiprims and quickly rejected the idea after realising that it also made a big hole in me when viewed from the side which wasn't at all good.

After an extended hiatus from SL I've come back to find some new developments, in particular, alpha layers which, combined with a realistic sculpted hand means that I can actually reproduce my RL disability quite accurately now.

And yet avatars with noticeable disabilities are extremely rare. Is it weird that I've done this? Is it weirder that I've done it when the rest of my avatar doesn't look like me (I am not a neko in RL for instance)?

Thoughts?

Weird? Nah. You don't have a choice about your presentation in RL, the accident set you on a new course. Here you do have a choice. In a world where you can wear any skin you wish, being comfortable in your own is a sign of strength.

Ditto!  Madelaine (Call her Maddy) can spot good character.

 

Peace!

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it's a mixed bag for me, my normal avatar does not have the disabilties I have in RL because I go to SL to escape them, for lack of a better word

 

however I did build avatars that are incarnations of myself as I was growing up (less for RP purposes and more for photo purposes) and I did incorporate my disabilities into them

 

Snapshot_1141.png

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Thanks to everyone for your positive comments.


Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

It is not weird to do this.  I've seen other avatars that portray disabilities.  I believe it is because it is part of them, as other posters have pointed out.  However some do it so they will be asked and then use it  as a chance to educate people on their disability..

There are a lot of disabled people in SL.  Most choose not to portray their disability.  People I know that are disabled in RL tell me they don't because they want to be treated as everyone else, or they come to SL specifically to do and experience things that they can't in RL. 

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer for this.  Each person must decide for themselves and whatever they decide I have to respect them for it. 

If you continue to feel weird about it or just want to talk to people who may understand how you feel, I suggest you visit the sim Virtual Ability in world.  It is a venue specifically for disabled people where they can meet, socialize and talk to others and even have a place to live.  It is run by a group of very caring people, many of whom are disabled themselves in RL.  They also make specialized orientations and training available for disabled people who need to learn how to use SL with their disability, as well as work with content creators so that those who choose to portray their disability are able to do so in a dignified and realistic manner.

I'm already very familiar with VAI and I have some friends who are involved there. I don't need any assistive technology to use SL (I'm very lucky in that respect, in most practical ways my disability isn't a severe one). Mostly I think I'm just curious how it will change the way I'm treated. I don't mind talking about it.

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I think that's a big part of SL. Be what you want to be. If you wish to have a part of your RL with you, then you should. I find it honorable actually that you want to make it part of your SL. It's like an honor badge for what you have endured.

Does that make sense?

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Raven1 Short wrote:

I think that's a big part of SL. Be what you want to be. If you wish to have a part of your RL with you, then you should. I find it honorable actually that you want to make it part of your SL. It's like an honor badge for what you have endured.

Does that make sense?

it makes perfect sense

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Thanks :D


Jesica Dragovar wrote:


Raven1 Short wrote:

I think that's a big part of SL. Be what you want to be. If you wish to have a part of your RL with you, then you should. I find it honorable actually that you want to make it part of your SL. It's like an honor badge for what you have endured.

Does that make sense?

it makes perfect sense

 

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Raven1 Short wrote:

I think that's a big part of SL. Be what you want to be. If you wish to have a part of your RL with you, then you should. I find it honorable actually that you want to make it part of your SL. It's like an honor badge for what you have endured.

Does that make sense?

Yes it does. Thankyou.

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My disabilities are mental, so there's not much for me to say here... although I have an RP character who is an amputee, and from that angle I have noticed how hard it is to find anything good. :P

He has a wooden pirate peg leg. :matte-motes-impatient: For his RP setting that's fine although I imagine that people who want their SL selves to reflect their RL selves' disabilities they might want a more modern prosthetic. Unless you're into pirates. :D

I also want a natural limping walk for him, but all the limping walks/runs I can find suggest current acute injury rather than longterm permanent disability.

I want to learn to animate so I can do this stuff. One thing I want to do, if nobody's done it yet, is make a wheelchair or scooter with a sitting walk, so that the avvy moves forward along the ground and the animation is not in the legs but rather in the wheels, steering, arms if it's a manual wheelchair, etc. 

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Mega Przhevalsky wrote:I want to learn to animate so I can do this stuff. One thing I want to do, if nobody's done it yet, is make a wheelchair or scooter with a sitting walk, so that the avvy moves forward along the ground and the animation is not in the legs but rather in the wheels, steering, arms if it's a manual wheelchair, etc. 

I haven't tried one but I believe the wheelchairs on Virtual Ability Island have what you need. And they're free too.

My disability is also not noticeable to others (it's visual, not visible) so I wouldn't incorporate it into my avatar. But going back to the OP I think it's not that strange to want to reflect yourself in your avatar in such a way.

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