Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Good Skin and Shape make all the Difference in Second Life

In real life you can make some changes to your skin and your shape. With buckets of money and time you can improve your skin with facials, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser treatments, photorejuvenation, acne therapy, skin tightening, botox injections and so on.

For your body you can have liposuction, your breasts increased or decreased, a nose job, tummy tucks, all kinds of lifts like face and eyes and even increase your height with some judicious silicone implants. If you are willing to get a personal trainer and put a bit of effort into it you can improve your shape quite a bit.

But in Second Life it is so much simpler and the choices are limitless. Or so it seemed to me. So much so that as usual I am paralyzed by indecision. It's not that I'm not trying. I seem to spend an incredibly boring amount of time researching this subject in Second Life.

One of the first things you do in Second Life is to change the appearance of your avatar but you are a bit limited by the software. Of course the "clever" people got involved very quickly and using their skills in third party software created new skins and shapes which they are only too happy to sell to you.

Now in real life your skin and your shape are rather intimately connected. Not so in SL. They are separate and you buy them separately. Plus you put them on and take them off like clothes. It's strange but true.

What you get with the body shape is head, nose, eyes, mouth, cheeks, chin, neck, torso, breasts, waist, hips, butt, legs, hands and feet. All created just so. Ideal, you might say, all perfectly proportioned if you desire or even resembling a real person, for example Angeline Jolie or perhaps Princess Diana might take your fancy.

While your skin consists of colour, nipple colour, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush, pubic hair colour. Mostly make-up for your face as you can see but skins are very difficult to create and command high prices so you must choose carefully. The problem is they tend to look so perfect I find them rather off putting. I know that since you can be anything you like in SL in theory, you should be bold but it seems that my blazing red hair is my limit in boldness.

The consensus seems to be to get a shape first so off I went to a place recommended by a SL friend. There are dozens of choices on posters on the walls and consequently it is very overwhelming. One rather interesting thing about this place is that there is a catwalk in the front of the store with half a dozen models of various sizes standing in a row to demonstrate some of the various options available. They make gentle motions with their arms and legs, not moving far from their designated spots. There is a quite amusing reminder notice that the models are robots and do not engage in conversation. "Excuse me Miss, but do you come with longer legs, or a smaller butt or bigger boobs?"

Decisions, decisions. There are no demos for trial with the body shapes so you have to jump in with both feet. Finally I made my choice and paid my money. Jaquelyn Smith was the one, for I thought that under all that hair, which is not included, her face had a vaguely similar shape to mine. So back to my "grace and favour" apartment to try it on. I bought the version with three bust sizes, B, C and D which seems to be the default bust size in SL. I wanted the smaller size since all the tops for sale seem to be rather low cut and I don't care to sport an in-your-face bosom, not even in SL. So on it went, toute de suite.

Well it seems that Jackie has a large head and my usual hair does not fit. There are bald patches in amongst the red and neither the body nor the hair can be modified! Plus she has a big butt! I guess I should have bought Raquel Welsh who was my second choice. Although I must say I was cheered to read the other day over at Critical Faculty Dojo in Booty is in the eye of the beholder that moderate amounts of subcutaneous fat on the buttocks and thighs may actually be good for you but more importantly the average guy (according to anecdotal evidence) actually prefers a girl with a little padding especially on the derriere.

So Jaquelyn has been stuffed back into my inventory and I'm back with my own carefully designed shape and I'm certainly not willing to shell out the big Linden dollars for a skin and have another disaster. At least no one can say I'm too perfect.

I think I'll have a rest from this endeavour and go visit some galleries or museums. Or chat up some other folk and find out where they bought their shapes and their skins. I'm very good at networking.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Goodness, it all sounds very complicated! How long does all this take? I think I shell out enough dosh on my skn in RL!

Nunyaa said...

Be good if a makeover in real life was as easy at SL. I'd book myself in yesterday :-)

Crushed said...

My SL avatar actually does slightly ressemble me.

Maybe I should aim higher...

leslie said...

Gee, if I got involved in SL, I'd have no RL. What you've created is a very attractive woman.

CherryPie said...

It sounds so addictive!!!

Dr.John said...

It sounds like work not fun.But if you enjoy it then that's what is important.

CalumCarr said...

Too much time on your hands?

Displacement activity?

Wanting to be a kid again?

Or is it just fun?


Janice Thomson said...

I chuckled at this and wondered how frustrating this must have been. Bad enough worrying in real life much less a computer world :)

Lil Jimmy said...

I think I'll have a rest from this endeavour and go visit some galleries or museums.

Wise words.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

It's way too much fun to be legal.

Vic Grace said...

Hi JMB thanks so much for asking about moving back. It shouldn't be necessary because if and when I figure out how to point blogger to my domain they assure me that the blogspot address is still current so you will find me anyway. It just means that the domain won't point to wordpress. Don't change anything and you should be find. I really appreciate your support

Anonymous said...

I know that SL is addictive and I now avoid it as it eats time even more than blogging... have you ever played The Sims at all?

Chrysalis Angel said...

I like the look of your avatar. I can't believe all the things that go into SL. I know I don't have a clue about it, so I'll just read about your experiences.

jmb said...

Welshcakes it is complicated but it's challenging which I love. It seems to take me forever, I'm always tweaking everything.

Nunyaa, wouldn't it be great if it was so simple in RL

Crushed, I wanted to be a bit realistic although not totally which I am sure you understand. I did choose to be taller however, 5 feet 9 in stockinged feet. A veritable Amazon.

Thanks Leslie, she's not so bad and certainly not perfect which I don't want.

Cherrypie it is addictive indeed.

Dr John it is work but lots of fun and I do like a good challenge.

Calum, displacing housework and other dull boring stuff. But it does take a lot of time but I think it is great fun.

Janice, at least I could be perfect if I wanted to be for once. Not really tempted however.

James, I meant galleries and museums in SL you know. Those things are a bit thin on the ground in Vancouver, well ones I haven't been to a dozen times already.

Miss Moggs, it is indeed fun and legal.

Vic Grace, I'll let you take care of it then.

Mutley, you are so right. It eats up RL time enormously as does blogging. I am not a game player at all and haven't done the Sims although I've heard of it. SL is not really a game.

A lot of stuff goes on in SL that it is wise to avoid, but there is a lot of good stuff too.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting.

James said...

Instead of buying and gambling on shapes from stores, you may also work with independent shape stylists, such as my studio in Gribley region. James Body Styling Studio. As you pose on the studio modeling tool, we talk with you about likes and dislikes and tailor your shape to your wishes. Cuter noses, narrower hips, perky butts, heads that fit hair better, and much more are the services we handle on a "tips only" basis.

Anonymous said...

I love sl. just still don't know how to get a 3D skin/shape with a av that i made perfect. apart from that, its all good. i am trying to find some aussies but it is hard. i have found one place and looking for mature peeps. oh btw i am a addy is amaezed13 if u wanna send me a "hey"...
my blog is
i love dancing and chatting to ppl and meeting interesting folk. anyways thanks ...c ya xxx

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