Monday, December 08, 2008

All about my avatar: SusNy Foss

My avatar SusNy has many similarities with the real life me, such as our names that are similar, and our faces that may have some common traits (although SusNy is much younger and smarter). I would not say, that I modeled her to be a true copy. Instead I would rather think that I have trained SusNy to know as much as possible about how to get around, understand how to use and examine tools and objects, eventually also to create my own material and environments. I would say that my avatar is most often seeking to initiate and encourage social connections, and finding new and interesting or fun environments to explore together, or on my own. In some cases, when she is working hard on creative tasks, there may be less time for socializing. SusNy knows how and when to ask for help and also how to share what she think she knows. In SusNy’s early days, she was very curious and spent many hours in world, which brought her inspiration as well as sometimes exhausting hours of staying for too long just because there were so many events that she did not want to miss.

In a period, I spent some time changing my appearance and shopping for clothes and gadgets. I documented these changes by taking frequent images and was able to pick a number of different looks, not that they have changed radically over time, just like having more outfits in my wardrobe. Just like in RL, I prefer the simple, casual style, brilliant colours, hats and soap bubbles to make a bit of fun in the picture, and as I adore flying around, I think that wings make the flying experience deeper and more realistic. I feel clumsy in huge robes, and I feel uneasy with the half naked look, just like in RL where I am quite shy with my body. As someone who like to appear as a playful professional with creative imagination and authority to teach and mentor, I feel that I would avoid to appear too provoking in my outfit, as this may be of importance to those who meet me, but first of all I think I want to feel at ease and fit in.

In SusNY' profile, she wish to make the connection between RL and SL identity. I have nothing to hide but need to present mseylf with some short sentences. I often check the profiles of people that I meet and greet, so I am well aware that everyone may do likewise. They can see which groups that I am a member of, and I show my best SL portrait. I have some selected landmarks that might need a reconsideration.

From early on, SusNy came in world as part of Webheads in Action, who were in many ways seeking to develop projects and courses in world, as a natural thing, she worked towards this teacher profile, too. She was given a grant at EducationUK where she is experimenting with her own creative skills in community context. Then she became involved with a project consortium applying for a grant in Denmark, where the target group would be teens in their free time, which meant that she had to learn all about the many restrictions involved with this age group, such as a clearing of MY background which I am happy to tell that I passed without further discussion. No criminal record to spoil my opportunities as a teen grid educator. I made a second avatar and packed his backpack for the travel behind the protected grid where no avatar can ever return.

However, we did not win this project grant, and the idea was abandoned for the time being. As I had spent too many hours on this already, I decided to stop for a while and put my avatars on standby, and focus on other work related tasks. Muvenation made me come back in world and embrace my sweet avatar SusNy, now understanding how much she had become not only a good friend and trainee, but also a vital part of myself and my identity as an online educator. Our stepson that was meant to travel behind the protected teen grid but never did so, my young male avatar, is still inactive - maybe waiting for an occasion to get a second chance.

No comments: