Thursday, June 21, 2007

Avatars on the Internet

So this morning, I got an odd IM from a person I didn't know saying to check out his/her WeeMee. It had no link. It might be from a camper I don't remember, or more likely, some guerrilla marketing, and I played into their hand.

Regardless, I checked it out and played their Pogo for Panties! game. WeeMees are basically avatars that people (kids) can create, and attach them to their entire online presence, such as AIM, blogs, myspace, skype. The whole site is a social network, where one can create avatars, and play games on the site. Obviously, I'm not their target demographic, and I won't spend that much time on there.

But I've been noticing a trend with avatar creation, that it's getting easier and easier, and there's certain demographics that are doing it. I've noticed there are avatars makers for Maplestory characters that are popping up on forums, as well as those Voki talking avatars.

For avatars to be worth creating, there has to be a world/context in which it fits that makes it worth showing. In second life or on forums, where interaction with others is the reason why they're there, then yes. Avatar is a form of self-expression that others you're interacting with will respond to. On blogs, not so much, since it's what you write not what you look like, that are important on blogs. Same with wikis.

Perhaps there will be a new form of the web that allows avatars to run about in a 'room' where they can do things together, like play soccer or tag, or draw collaborative pieces. And to go from room to room, you simply go from page to page. In a web like that, there will be room for avatars.

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