Portable avatars

October 17, 2007 at 8:48 pm 1 comment

Currently, every virtual world requires a player or user to go through the process of creating an avatar that will act as their proxy in that online environment. Typically, an avatar created for one world, be it a game or a system like Second Life, cannot move between these different virtual spaces.

A project started by IBM and Linden Lab aims to eventually create a universal character creation system so people only have to create a digital double once.

While the character’s appearance may change depending on where it is taken, its basic characteristics, such as looks and underlying personal data, would be retained. The hope is to boost interest in virtual worlds as well as make them easier to navigate.

The link between avatars and identity has been studied from many angles. One interesting presentation is from Dr Angela Thomas, including this lovely quote from Aimee Weber, “The avatar is a direct telephone line to the soul.”

If so, then the project by IBM and Linden Lab is akin to unbundling the local loop.


Entry filed under: identity, interop, personal_info.

Privacy & culture Concordia & interoperability

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