i am a visual person. i learn by seeing things and i understand best through observation. this is just how my brain is wired. a visual orientation works well in the immersive virtual world for many things.

this picture was taken by my friend the talented apple mackay at the molaskey's tallguy kidd show last friday. attending a concert in a spectacular venue like the scope carver build at princeton beach allows me to experience visual beauty, music that moves me in the company of wonderful people. this combination of art, music and people is exactly what makes the virtual world have a powerful hold on me.

on the other hand lacking visual cues in my interactions with my friends makes me frustrated. as i told a dear friend last night i can be quite oblivious to nuance in the virtual world. i think my tendency to miss people's intent or meaning is because i cant see the depth of their eyes, the tilt of their head, the tiny movement of their mouth. more to the point, avatars can control these movements and facial expressions only on a very gross scale.

my mysti tool has emotes built into it. i am sure you have seen the over the top expressions like this one.

again photo credit goes to apple who caught me playing with the mysti tool. i think this may be one of the goofiest pictures of me ever but it illustrates my point. either our avatars have neutral expressions or exaggerated cartoony faces. maybe there is talented creator who has produced anims or a hud that produces more subtle facial expression than what i have seen. does anyone know? even with the best anims possible with current technology i think i may be disappointed.

i want to be able to see my avatar easily move in a way that reflects what i am feeling. as a simple example, if i am sitting with a friend listening to music i would love to be able to simply lean over and hug them or whatever small physical expression felt right. i look forward to the time when my avatar has control over her actions in a more fluid way than is currently possible with poseballs and animations. will that day ever come? am i dreaming? probably.

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