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January 28, 2008


Pauline Randall aka Liz Ferlinghetti

Interesting post - all of which makes perfect sense! I've been in SL for over a year now. I have a main avie (Liz Ferlinghetti) who is definitely me. She is the one I use most of the time that I'm in SL. I also have another couple - one is really a testing avie (did the build work as I intended!) and the other one gets to explore a bit more. I have very distict feelings towards my avies but only Liz do I really identify with. I had an interesting discussion with someone last week about the effect of someone else'driving' your avie - I was using their avie to build something. It definitely gives you an odd feeling having someone else control your avie which really brings home the relationship that you have with your alter ego!

Paul Hollins

Hi Steve a vey interesting and thought provoking post re identity.........

One of the educational affordances of MUVE

Peter Timusk

Interesting from a view. I do not use SL for work. I do use it for study but at work any mention of a computer game or a virtual world would be considered not working. I have spent a lot of time using Second Life for education and yes established a home. But I used my second avatar only to go through orientation Island a second time. I have been to a few clubs and events but mostly I am alone building or exploring and it is all on my own time, my own money. I do know AJ too and have chatted with him in world.

I would be interested to study age rather than gender bending in avatars.


I have definitely been through all five stages and would like to propose a possible sixth. Having created an SL alt as a 'safety valve' I am now thinking about re-integrating certain aspects of my alternate identity into my primary avatar.

Professor Steven Warburton

Thank you for all the comments, both here and on the SLED list. I would agree that there are a number of possibilties for avatar development that go beyond the fifth element that I describe in the timeline. As suggested by Blue above then re-integration is one and another that I see quite frequently is what I call 'serial avatar creation' where rather than splitting oneself across multiple avatars the old one is simply 'killed off' and a new one is created. The maximum number of incarnations I have come across so far is a character who was in their seventh body.


Thank you very much for a thought-provoking post. I am currently starting my research (informal at the moment) on the emotional aspects of social networking, with an emphasis on Second Life and the strength and pull of communities of practice there.

My avatar looks as much like me as possible. I did this deliberately to see if my attitude towards her would shift. It did, and now I use no other avatar for my main account.

My second account has a more whimsical avatar but she is known to my main avatar's network, so isn't likely to go off causing hate and discontent.

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