Monday, January 15, 2007
MLK Day Avatar
You know, Lee Cronin and the stalwart crew of the Enterprise said it far better than I could. So I'm going to let the picture speak for itself.
Exactly two people I met in-world this evening got the reference. I'm a little disappointed about that. Makes me feel old. (To be fair, the original Star Trek is a bit before my time, too.) A bit back, it was announced that the average age of SL citizens is 33 years old. That can't possibly be right. I still think there's a small, but dedicated, cadre of tech-savvy octogenarians skewing the numbers.
Moriash (left) and Throfofnir Balnarring (right) as Oppressed and Oppressor (respectively). Cheron grey costumes by Throf. Face and upper body tattoos by yours truly.
I would like to take the opportunity to point everyone to this comment by dga Kyomoon, the originator of the alternate avatar idea. He explains his original intention, and expands a bit on what it would take for the gesture to become meaningful. His intention wasn't to spin this as a learning experience for the av wearers, per se, but as a demonstration on par with the many MLK day parades in RL. Just read the comment. He explains it better than I.
As for me, I honestly didn't see anything all that different in SL today. Not that I could reasonably expect one announcement in the NWN to change the face of SL in 24 hours, in any case. But I was looking, anyway.
I spent a couple of hours wandering the grid, listenting to the chatter and hanging out in the background. (I excel at that. It's easier than interacting.) Perhaps there were more racial epithets skewed towards people of African descent than normal. Or perhaps not. I confess I don't spend much time out in the big bad grid, so I can't really establish a baseline.
Over the course of a few hours, I didn't see anyone obviously playing alternate races. But, then, how would I know? Certainly nobody was flagrant about it. Which, I suppose, could be encouraging in and of itself. Anyone playing up the stereotypes to the point that I'd notice them in passing would clearly be missing the point, whatever that point may ultimately be.
So, the upshot is that I have gleaned no particular insights this evening. I dressed up in my geeky little av, felt a little silly, and wandered SL looking for some signs of people... I don't know, having epiphanies, I guess. What does that look like, anyway? Is there a gesture for it? In any case, I'm still not altogether certain what I was expecting, but I didn't find it.
Sometimes, I think I expect too much from SL.