Monday, December 10, 2007

The joy of being Tiny

Avatar evolution - tangential rant - importance of looking good - a solution found - pros and cons - conclusion.

Recently, the time has come to do some avatar maintenance. In keeping with my old augmentationist / experimentalist self, my first Second Life avatar stayed more or less the same for about 6 months. Of course, I invested valuable lindens in a semi-decent skin and hair, got some clothes and pretty much called it a day for a while.

"I has a suit."
back when I thought that made me cool *facepalm*

Tangent: WHY!! is it so hard for a male avatar to prim primp? I'm sure that not all males choose a sexy, big-breasted skimpily dressed female avatar as their SL personification - why, there must be at least a couple of dozen guys that picked a male avatar. Shopping for male stuff is almost as depressing in SL as in RL - there I would be, pockets bulging with Lindens (almost 80!), patiently zooming over displays and displays of gorgeous female wear and looking for something that would fit me. I see market potential here, my dear SL creators! Grateful donations in the form of prim hair graciously accepted.


After a few months of wandering around SL, attending interesting events and meeting more and more cool people, a couple of things became apparent: (a), my avatar was boring; and (b), looks matter in Second Life even more than in RL. A casual avatar-disparaging comment by a dear SL friend, made while commenting on my Facebook photo clinched it: it was makeover time. But make over into what?

Well, if tails, horns, starfleet uniforms or robots are your thing, you're in luck - you can hardly rez a prim over your shoulder without hitting a shop selling one or all of these. If your tastes are a bit more (less?) exotic, it gets trickier. After a long search (30 minutes RL - that's like 12 hours SL time), the die was cast, the Lindens spent and IYan transformed. Enter - the cat.


ExtroVirtual tinies are incredibly cute and there is a wide selection. While I knew the avie was diabetes-inducing, I wasn't prepared for the extra dimension of fun it brought to the SL experience. It's such a joy watching it scamper around on its tiny feet, and the cuteness doubles while in flight!


Of course, it wouldn't do to look TOO cute, so I shopped at Bitter Thorns (love the store!) and changed the kitty into cyber-cat:

I made you a battery, but I eated it.

The drawbacks of having a Tiny avatar are seldom having a place to sit (except at exceptionally gracious hosts), people stepping on you (not that much, fortunately - and there are free WATCH OUT FOR THE TINY signs available at the Extrovirtual store) and an inability to use certain scrips/animations (like dancing). The interaction with other avatars, on the other hand, is much improved - it seems like everybody loves a Tiny! The greatest fun is when several Tiny avatars gather for some big-people pushing, as demonstrated by my friend Ally the tiny warthog :)

Everybody loves tinies

Of course, tinies will not do for business, although I've tried it. The problem is that the tiny paws of Extrovirtual avies aren't animated while typing, which makes text chat much more difficult; plus, some people might have a problem with discussing business with a foot-high cat.

So: do the tiny avatars solve the boring avatar problem? Yes and no. There are many occasions when I use my main avatar, which is still pretty boring; but the occasional entrance of my Tiny cheers me up and makes my main avatar cooler by association. If you're asking yourself whether to join the Tiny Army, my answer is - YES!

Tiny army


Alanagh said...

Look at us! Yes, it is a joy to be tiny... In fact, I am considering being tiny much much more. It takes away all the stress of looking good. I mean, what is not good-looking about a WARTHOG like Alanagh!

IYan Writer said...

Agreed! I especially love the way your warthog grins - so happy, so content. BTW, you should really record some authentic warthog sounds - I think many a boring Metanomics lecture would greatly benefit from some warthog snorts! :)

The FreeRice Contest said...

IYan! You come by your last name honestly (Mister genius level blog!) - this was *so much fun* to read!

I adore you and iAlja as kitties - not that I don't always - and Alanagh's warthog is *utterly* adorable!

We're putting in a mermaid grotto- we definitely need a tiny park!


IYan Writer said...

A Tiny park? Just make sure that Extropia visitors understand it's not Tiny hunting season! :)

Thanks for the praise - I'm sure that the blog level will fall when there are more entries, but it's not a problem - I'll just remove it then ;)

jenzZa Misfit said...

Poke !!! *grin*

Cybergrrl Oh said...

oh where can I get me a tiny self?

Anonymous said...

tinies :-)) search for wynx Whiplash inworld or in the onrez shop (
Wynx is the creator of the most popular tiny- avas. or visit raglan shire, or butzbach, or,or.....
tiny Greets, Nero Masala :-))

IYan Writer said...


my tiny is from Wynx! :) Got it in Extrovirtual.

I also heard good stuff about HUG*MART on Dammastock - on my list of places to check out during my next SL shpping spree :)