Thursday, 11 October 2007

I'm the same wherever I go

The unimaginative and lazy rejoice for IBM and Linden Lab are creating a universal avatar design system. The system will enable the creation of one virtual avatar that can transcend the walled boundaries of online spaces such as Second Life and WoW.

They claim the avatar will change between these different online worlds but will maintain it’s basic characteristics and personal information.

I’d like to know the finer details on how much similarity the avatar would retain between worlds. A character in Second Life might look just like you but crossing them over into a fantasy game where they suddenly grow horns or placing them in a sci-fi game and finding they’ve suddenly become a glob of goo seems pointless.

It’s an interesting idea and seems similar in principle to the Metaplace software. I’m not sure of the net gain of having a character with the same characteristics for every online world you might like to visit will be. Surely, the enjoyment comes from playing completely different characters both in physical appearance and characteristics from game to game or within the same online world.

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