Second Life as a Social Environment /Kamini Zhora

In this podcast I question whether the appearance of my avatar has any significant impact on my experience in the virtual world, and if the social world environment can be viewed as a more perfect or a parallel universe. I plan to create an obese avatar to explore the virtual world, record her experiences, and draw her conclusions.

Kamini Undercover

1 Comment

  1. Rebecca

    November 26, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

    1

    Hi Kamini,

    Nice work on this podcast. You raise a lot of very interesting questions. Many of these questions seem like they will be quite difficult to answer convincingly, so I’ll be interested to see how you propose to research them and persuade a reader of the conclusion that you draw. You may want to consider cutting down the range of questions somewhat to try to narrow the focus of your paper. For instance, it would be sufficient to try to understand whether the social standard of beauty is different in Second Life than in real life and how. Perhaps physical beauty is valued less in SL because it is so commonplace. Perhaps, as you suggest, emulation of real world beauty is practically a requirement in SL because it is so attainable that other avatars will react badly to encountering ugly avatars. Perhaps the standard of beauty is different in SL than RL, depending on the fanciness, creativity, or expensiveness of outfits and accessories. What is the significance of the wide availability of certain types of beauty in SL while other looks are harder to achieve because they are less available or the graphics don’t display them well. You might also want to attend to issues of sex — what is the difference in social treatment of male and female avatars? what about furries and other non-human avatars?

    There is a lot of interesting material here, but in order to make a persuasive argument about it you will need to do some work gathering evidence for whatever conclusion you intend to draw.

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