Saturday, October 08, 2005
Posted by Launa
Welcome to the SL Uncanny Valley. Land of hyper realistic avatars and photo referenced everything.
The idea of the "uncanny valley" was thought up by Japanese roboticist Doctor Masahiro Mori. Mori came to the realization that people respond better to the images of a non human Robot, than one that attempts to be as human as possible. People would respond better to a 6 legged non humanoid robot than this slightly more human robot (I saw an early prototype of this at NASA, nifty!), and they may respond negatively to a robot like this. We are human, one of the best things we know is eachother. We may not realize it but we are all experts on people. So Final Fantasy may be less appealing to you than say Monsters Inc. (ok maybe that image isn't the best to pick...) What about something looking slightly "more human than human" gives us the willies?
So how does this fit into Second Life? Are our avatars too real? When I played There many people spoke of how "ugly" the avatars were in Second Life. I think if you are coming from a spoon fed cartoon world to a world with as much detail as Second Life offers it can be a bit jarring and people may need a while to get used to it.
We have the ability to make our avatars look near photo realistic if we wish. But how real is too real? I have a good friend that is very sensitive to an avatars appearance. And skins can make someone look a little TOO real for him. Some people don't care for Mo-Cap. But still others want Second Life as real as possible.
I think that's what separates Second Life from other virtual worlds, MMOS, and chat environments. Tailor your experience to yourself. Theres room for everyone.
Posted at 10/08/2005 11:31:00 AM