Tuesday, March 08, 2005
My Virtual Modeling Career
My trademark halo got me into kind of an unusual situation this evening. One of my online acquaintances, Laura Ingersoll, is a part time artist and avid virtual photographer. Tonight, the Muse struck her while we were messing about in a local pose shop. (Players can create custom avatar poses and animations using the Poser 3D figure modeling package.) This shop specialized in particularly dramatic couples poses. Every item on display was suitable for the cover of the cheesiest Harlequin romance novels. I can understand playing with them a bit, as we were doing. But why anyone would want to actually own these poses is beyond me.
In any case, for better or worse, I was chosen to be Laura's Fabio for the evening. The provocatively dressed woman in the pictures goes by the name of Chrestomanci Bard. She's another in-game friend, and another enthusiastic virtual shutterbug. The scary thing is she just happened to have the body tattoo and thigh-high stockings lying around in her inventory. While we were waiting for Laura to setup the backdrop, Chres commented that these would make ideal blackmail pictures. I simply asked, "For which of us?" She didn't have an answer for that.
Angel and Devil
Angel and Devil, Test Pose
Getting Fresh with the Photographer
(While she stands on my foot and
contemplates kneeing me in the groin.)
As payment for my modeling services, I was taken to a small outdoor club to hear a live jazz guitarist (whose name escapes me at the moment). It's kind of an interesting idea. The musician sets himself up in front of his computer and streams live audio into the game. This way, he can respond to comments, work the crowd, greet regulars, take requests, and otherwise interact in real time with his listeners. It's things like this that restore my faith in the potential of this virtual world. Just when I think it's all virtual T-and-A and Tringo games, something like this comes along.
Some musicians go all out, running custom animations and such as they play. This one just sat his simply dressed, five o'clock shadow adorned avatar on a stool and had him awkwardly hold a symbolic model of a guitar while he played in RL. As far as I was concerned, this was fine. Having spent the last couple of hours locked in a static embrace with a scantily clad pixel-woman, I had had about enough of fancy poses and animations for the night. Spend too long as the marionette, and you start to notice the strings.
And right now, my first life avatar is tired. I'm going to bed.