Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mists and Mazes

Purple Boon

Mesh has brought us many things, some foreseen and most not - but the latest release is a new mesh head. I tried a demo, like a lot of people, and I was really startled by how viscerally uncomfortable I was with a face different than my own. As in, I became deeply disturbed and took off the demo before really playing much around with it. The features were simply so different from what  view as "me" that I couldn't stand it. Like many new to Second Life, the first thing I did was my face, and it's remained mostly the same since I joined, with some time spent to trying to make it look like me (as much as skins and peculiarities of the Second Life mesh allow - like the shadow on the top of my nose isn't there, and neither are my two signature moles, and weirdly it's impossible to have less than Angelina Jolie lips, oh, and my ears aren't quite so big offline). I've grown attached to this face, though I wouldn't mind making it look more like me. I've considered for a while making my moles, though I think it could be argued that the level of verisimilitude is a bit much. How much we invest ourselves into our virtual personas, though, is an interesting question in an age where avatars are becoming an evermore present aspect of everyone's identity - from little squares on Facebook to fully three dimensional figures in a variety of games.

Faerie Ring

How we relate to these external representations of ourselves is at once similar and entirely different from how we relate to our bodies - because our avatars are completely within our power whereas our bodies are not; they change outside of our control, sagging and tanning and gaining different spots as we age. Avatars are much more within our power, however close or far they are from our bodies, but only within the allowance of the creators. I was dwelling on this recently in relation to a new game on Gaia Online, where my "lead character" of sorts is male, a choice I usually don't make. Even on Civilization, where my virtual alternate rarely shows up, I am almost always female. I really wanted my whole virtual army to be female - it tends to be how I roll these days. After a childhood spent imagining myself through the adventures of multiple men - wishing I could be Merlin, or Sherlock, or Robin Hood - I deeply and strongly want to experience adventure through the appearance and ability of a woman, like I am. It amazes me that even now most of the stories told can only be told with a male protagonist, that if there's a female protagonist on a show she's almost always paired with a guy - or several. Its getting better, it's shifting so that there is more parity (and don't even get me started on ethnic under-representation) but it sometimes seems like there's a long way to go.

Into the Maze

( More pictures here. )


Skin: De la Soul, Aestali - Cream Rose
Eyes: De La Soul, RooMee Eyes - Rainbow
Eyelashes: SLink, Eyelashes
Eyeshadow: Mock, Glitter Pop Eshadow - Iced Grape
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Lipstick: Mock, Lucir Lipcolor - Tall Poppy
Hair: Alice Project, Grace (Hunt Prize)
Wings: Fancy Fairy, Azarelle
Hands: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands
Jewelry: Elemental, Cross Your Heart
Dress: Blue Blood, Disgrace - Purple
Boots: Kcreations, Feline Boots

Poses: Glitterati

Location: The Kingdom of Alurel
Light Settings: TOR, FOGGY Das Fog
Water Settings: Mirror Water

Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only

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