Week#7 Activity: Avatar Interview with Vanessa Blaylock

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This week we entered the “SL” world and I interviewed Vanessa Blaylock.  This was a completely new and unique experience I’ve never had before.  I’ve played some WoW in my day, but had never been in a virtual world like this.  Vanessa explained to me that the SL world is very similar to RL (real life) as well.  She told me how they have a person in SL that sells shoes and made 1 million U.S. dollars in over 3 years!  She explained to me that since she has her own career professing art, she likes to be able to have freedom in whatever she creates with her virtual creations and that money can influence the decisions people make so doesn’t focus on how she could make money in SL.  She has been a part of marches where everyone in SL comes together to support a real life cause that is going on in RL and since they can’t physically be there, they do something in SL.  Vanessa explained to me that there are RL musicians who will be singing/playing music in their studio and have their avatar perform for them in real time in SL.  I would have never known that any of these things existed, yet alone were even possible, had I not interviewed Vanessa and had this experience.  During the interview, both of our avatars took an elevator upstairs and had a dance party while I asked her questions.  Even though I had a dog avatar he still danced the night away.  Vanessa’s avatar even had a “fake pregnancy” dress on because one of her friends was going to open up a University with a fertility clinic in SL!  She said that almost all of her experiences in SL have been great, but there can be creepy people hidden in dark allies, just like in real life.  Vanessa told me that her favorite part of SL is that it connects people from different continents and enables them to hangout and discuss similar interests and share cultures.    I’m glad we had this project assigned to us because I would have never known of all the possibilities in SL and now I have something to think about and maybe try in my free time!  Check out Vanessa’s awesome work on her website here or here!

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4 thoughts on “Week#7 Activity: Avatar Interview with Vanessa Blaylock

  1. Hey Cristina! Sounds like you had a great conversation. So you thought SL was *really* different from WoW? “Architecturally” they’re both 3D Virtual Worlds where you have an avatar and you walk around and do stuff. I guess the difference is that a “game” like WoW has Goal and Rules and Quests… Points, Badges, Leaderboards.. and a world like SL, or somewhat also like Minecraft, there mostly aren’t specific Quests, but you just do whatever you do… whether it’s to create artworks in 2D or 3D or performance pieces… or make shoes or dance clubs!

    Glad you got to think about something new! Oh, and if you could add the artist’s name in the title of your post, and add a link to their website, just like all our other Artist & Classmate interviews, that’d rock. Whenever you post… about Cars or Cosplay or Physical Training or The Lakers or Biology Experiments or anything else… it’s always great to get the NAME right in the title, and then add a few relevant URLs. Or in the case of an interview, then the URL to the person’s website.

    Great job Cristina! TY!

    • Yeah the freedom of SL vs. WoW is what was so crazy to me! It was really cool though, if I ever had the time I think I would love to have my own little world and make dance parties all the time haha. Sorry I forgot to add her name and website I will go add that right away!

      Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Hi Cristina. Thank you for your article. You were “SpockBoss”? That was a really nice conversation. Thank you for all the lovely questions both about my work and also about art and virtual worlds. I noticed that many of the students I spoke with had avatar names that were something like their RL name. Did having a *different* name make you feel any different? Like an invitation to inhabit that identity? Or did it seem more like a “chat handle” that didn’t really influence how you felt or spoke or existed?

    • Hey Vanessa, you’re welcome! Thank you for all the answers and insight you provided me with. “Spockboss” is my go to name for anytime I’m on any form of media and I get to have a username. I love Spock from Star Trek the original series and came up with it a few years ago off the top of my head when I first made an Instagram and it has stuck ever since haha. I do feel like it gives my identity some privacy in a way, which I like, but I feel I am overall the same when I use it. I hope that makes sense. If It influences me in anyway, I guess that I am a little more bold behind that username than my own.

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