SL Bloggers – Is your avatar more or less your current biological age? Do you portray a younger avatar, or older? Why is this?
RL Bloggers – Do you lie about your age? Do you think you act your age? Are you where you thought you’d be at your current age?
Funny you should ask…
Back around the first of the year, as I was contemplating expanding my virtual presence into OSGrid, I discovered that I had a “mental block” against appearing as a human. I’d been a furry since my rezday, including choosing to wear that awful n00b furry avatar which was available at the time (an ancient Luskwood creation, I believe) before rezzing at Orientation Island. But, there are no furry avatars in OSGrid. I decided the best way to get past the block was to break through it, and create a human avatar.
Serendipitously, at the same time someone posted a question in SLUniverse about “aged” skins, and was provided with some good answers. I took that as further inspiration, and decided that the human avvie I’d make would resemble my organic self.
So I went shopping (details here if you’re interested — one of the hardest things to find was glasses that match my real ones), and modded a Library shape. Sculpting the head and face was a fun challenge, working from a photo of the real me. I’d never had to do that before; I’d been wearing someone else’s work as an attachment on my nose. It’s not a dead ringer, but it’ll do.
Do I lie about my age? Obviously not now, though for a while at the beginning I would studiously omit mentioning it (and it’s nigh on to impossible to assign an apparent age to a furry avatar just by looks). I’m not ashamed now to admit I did that then because I feared it might spoil my chances with females. But then I had some chances, with females of a much younger age…
Remember Steely Dan’s song “Hey, 19”? If you do, ’nuff said. That was about the time I decided to mention my age in the “first life” tab of my profile, long before I devised this avatar.
In defense of all those other older SL’ers out there: We’re not given a choice, when we sign up, except to look much younger than we are. The apparent age of every n00b avatar ever promulgated by the Lab and their commissioned in-world designers is somewhere in the indeterminate twenties. Unless, like me, you stumble across the fact that there are older-looking skins — and then shell out substantial L$ to get one — you won’t be able to look your RL age even if you want to.
Do I act my age? I suppose that depends on what your preconceived notion is of how someone my age acts. I act like me, plain and simple. Example: Of the two clubs I go to most often, one plays various forms of trance (and just made me their staff photographer for special events), and the other plays EBM/industrial/noise. I might never have discovered those genres of music without SL, but I go to those places because I love the music, not because I think being there makes me look hip and cool.
I am hip and cool, so there. :P And you know what else? I’m not the only one older than 50 in those places.
Am I where I thought I’d be at my current age? Well, I surely didn’t foresee being an avatar in a virtual world, let alone two of them… nor did I have any inkling that I’d wind up writing a blog, let alone that anyone would read it… or that I had an eye for framing screenshots that crop down into decent photos, or the patience to wait until my unwitting subject’s dance animation put them in just the right pose (and to wait until it came around again, if I missed it the first time)…
Bottom line to all of this: I may not have become “what I wanted to be when I grew up”, but I am a grownup, and I like being one.