From Chiba, Japan, AP reports on Sony and Microsoft's upcoming avatar-based offerings at the annual Tokyo Game Show. Associated Press goes to great lengths to avoid spooking what they seem to feel are a parochial and hidebound audience with gems like, 'In the so-called "metaverse" in cyberspace, players manipulate digital images called "avatars" that represent themselves, engaging in relationships, social gatherings and businesses.'
Of course, the notion of graphical avatars as a part of a wide variety of Internet services has persisted for most of the last two decades, but even the sense of this is backwards.To the casual and uninformed observer it might appear that the user manipulates this (ahem) 'digital image' to perform actions, but this is substantively not the case. The user moves or takes action through the virtual environment in relation to spaces and to other users, and the avatar represents the action to others.
It's just that sort of long-arm punditry that seems to make AP compare Sony's Home and Microsoft's Avatar service with Linden Lab's Second Life, despite Sony and Microsoft's respective services having about as much in common with Second Life, as they have with Mortal Kombat. 'The real-time interactive computer-graphic worlds are similar to Linden Lab's "Second Life,"' writes the AP correspondent, in a wondrously surreal moment.
|Are you a part of the most widely-known collaborative virtual environment or keeping a close eye on it? Massively's Second Life coverage keeps you in the loop.|