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Old 11-28-2017, 09:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is the Universal Avatar an idea whose time has come?

Is the Universal Avatar an idea whose time has come?

https://sansarnewsblog.wordpress.com...versal-avatar/
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Old 11-28-2017, 11:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A *universal* avatar. Good luck with that!
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It’s all about the avatar and its valuable inventory, and most of the big players in this area so far seem to be neglecting this. It surprises me that Unity/Unreal/Lumberyard/Cryengine, none of them have such a Universal Avatar system in place.
No surprise to me. The male-centric developer culture has NEVER understood the importance of avatars or valued their importance to user interaction with the technology du jour. Avatar fashions and customizations are seen as silly stuff women play with, an ancillary aspect of virtual worlds that falls low on the list of priorities compared to terrain features or scripting.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Beebo Brink View Post
No surprise to me. The male-centric developer culture has NEVER understood the importance of avatars or valued their importance to user interaction with the technology du jour. Avatar fashions and customizations are seen as silly stuff women play with, an ancillary aspect of virtual worlds that falls low on the list of priorities compared to terrain features or scripting.
IT'S NOT LIKE ANYBODY COULD HAVE PREDICTED THIS.

Oh wait.

But still, ferrets.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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no ferrets no business

edit: oops Argent already said it

Last edited by Adeon Writer; 11-29-2017 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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no ferrets no business
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Argent Stonecutter View Post
It's particularly ironic when you consider how often Rosendale cited Stephenson as an influence, yet at the same time has expressed continued surprise at the idea that people like having unique (often human*) avatars.

* - or ferrets
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It's particularly ironic when you consider how often Rosendale cited Stephenson as an influence, yet at the same time has expressed continued surprise at the idea that people like having unique (often human*) avatars.

* - or ferrets
Philip was excited about the tech. He never seemed to put much thought into how people would want to use the tech.

I have always wanted a "universal avatar" that I could use in games and other 3D rendered environments. I think it would be awesome!

That said, I cannot picture Linden Lab producing a universal avatar system any right minded developer would even consider implementing in their own product. LL exists in their own bubble reality. In their world, the videogame industry does not exist. In their world, all you need is a software engineer to put together a creative tool or a social interface.

This is why...
  • there are threads on SLU and the official forum raging about content optimization.
  • you deal with lag and poor framerates on a daily basis.
  • content creation tools in SL are sorely lacking.
  • ease of use and engagement features are almost entirely absent from SL.
  • the woman's avatar has shorter arms than the men's.

LL is this oddball developer that is entirely blind to many aspects of the very product they develop. They are constantly trying to reinvent the wheel and failing spectacularly. Any other halfway competent developer is going to take one look at whatever Universal Avatar system LL develops and see all of the problems that make it unusable.

LL has some great ideas, I take no joy in criticizing them, but unless they acknowledge and address their shortcomings they will not make much headway in producing systems that other developers will actually want to implement in their own products.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I will say, for all it's flaws, the Avatar aspect really helps keep SL around. I mean SL is a pretty crappy driving and boating and shooting and pretty much anything sim/game. It's even pretty mediocre as a chat service.

But I have my Avatar and all my clothes I am constantly changing and whatnot. So it wins out.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The beauty of the ferret request is that it's such an off the wall, obscure request that if there is actually a virtual world where you can be a ferret, you can surely by necessity be pretty much anything, including the kitchen sink. It by default requires fully custom avatars to fulfill the request.

It's the perfect mandate.

So, ferrets pls.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Adeon Writer View Post
The beauty of the ferret request is that it's such an off the wall, obscure request that if there is actually a virtual world where you can be a ferret, you can surely by necessity be pretty much anything, including the kitchen sink.


My own standard is the Beebo Queer test. Can you put any kind of clothes on your avatar? If you're limited to wearing only the clothes assigned to a female avatar or only the clothes assigned to a male avatar, then I'm not interested in your virtual world.
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Old 11-30-2017, 12:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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If you're limited to wearing only the clothes assigned to a female avatar or only the clothes assigned to a male avatar, then I'm not interested in your virtual false and ho-hum binary world.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beebo Brink View Post


My own standard is the Beebo Queer test. Can you put any kind of clothes on your avatar? If you're limited to wearing only the clothes assigned to a female avatar or only the clothes assigned to a male avatar, then I'm not interested in your virtual world.

Of course you can put ANY clothing on ANY avatar, the question is if you would want to be seen in public like that XD
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:38 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Of course you can put ANY clothing on ANY avatar, the question is if you would want to be seen in public like that XD
It's apparently common for the male and female avatars to have completely different mappings so putting the "wrong" clothes on, even if the game allowed for it, would just break horribly.
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Stonecutter View Post
It's apparently common for the male and female avatars to have completely different mappings so putting the "wrong" clothes on, even if the game allowed for it, would just break horribly.

...which for me means i would not want to be seen in public like that.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:16 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It's apparently common for the male and female avatars to have completely different mappings so putting the "wrong" clothes on, even if the game allowed for it, would just break horribly.
That's the stark technical explanation, but underlying that limitation is the original concept of how you create avatars, how you gender them, and how you accessorize. The male/female dichotomy was viewed as binary and the technology (literally) codified that concept.

When I look at supposedly cutting edge technology, such as Sansar, I look for some awareness of the cutting edge of culture. How does this technology fit the mores and values of the people who will use it? LL fails rather spectacularly in that regard, which is no surprise since user adoption has always been a weak point for the company.

Meanwhile, in mainstream gaming culture The Sims 4 has gender fluidity integrated into their avatar creation tools. They get it, while LL flounders in the past.
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Old 11-30-2017, 12:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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EA doesn't really "get it". They added the "gender fluidity" to Sims 4 because the players demanded it. It took years for them to even acknowledge the demand plus a few more to implement it. Which is why you don't see the fluidity in Sims 3.

Another fact about gender fluidity in Sims 4. It was an "update" made available just last year (2016).

"The Sims" Will Soon Feature Gender Fluid Characters
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Beebo Brink View Post
No surprise to me. The male-centric developer culture has NEVER understood the importance of avatars or valued their importance to user interaction with the technology du jour. Avatar fashions and customizations are seen as silly stuff women play with, an ancillary aspect of virtual worlds that falls low on the list of priorities compared to terrain features or scripting.
I can still remember trying to raise the issue of the default "girly", sexist animations that female avatars were forced to use in Blue Mars, and how the developers just didn't "get" it. Beebo you weighed in on that too, as I recall.
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Beebo Brink View Post


My own standard is the Beebo Queer test. Can you put any kind of clothes on your avatar? If you're limited to wearing only the clothes assigned to a female avatar or only the clothes assigned to a male avatar, then I'm not interested in your virtual world.
TOTALLY agree with this!!!
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:18 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Beebo Brink View Post
That's the stark technical explanation, but underlying that limitation is the original concept of how you create avatars, how you gender them, and how you accessorize. The male/female dichotomy was viewed as binary and the technology (literally) codified that concept.

When I look at supposedly cutting edge technology, such as Sansar, I look for some awareness of the cutting edge of culture. How does this technology fit the mores and values of the people who will use it? LL fails rather spectacularly in that regard, which is no surprise since user adoption has always been a weak point for the company.

Meanwhile, in mainstream gaming culture The Sims 4 has gender fluidity integrated into their avatar creation tools. They get it, while LL flounders in the past.
Beebo, I want to write a post about gender and avatars in Sansar for the Sansar Newsblog. May I quote what you have said here in this thread, including this GREAT quote, in my blogpost?
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Beebo Brink View Post
That's the stark technical explanation, but underlying that limitation is the original concept of how you create avatars, how you gender them, and how you accessorize. The male/female dichotomy was viewed as binary and the technology (literally) codified that concept.
Oh, I wasn't trying to justify it.
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:18 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Meanwhile, in mainstream gaming culture The Sims 4 has gender fluidity integrated into their avatar creation tools. They get it, while LL flounders in the past.
My only real issue with the gender tools for Sims 4 is they don't seem to really get nonbinary at the core level; that is, you can be basically still male, or female, but with some changes - they didn't think of people who might want to actually be -both genders.

-------------
And honestly, avatars are important for most games, and anyone who thinks they don't matter to men, haven't played the right games. The only real difference between something like SL and other MMOs is that if you are inclined, you can create your own assets.

And I certainly wouldn't choose LL to make it.
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