My geek wheels squeal with delight: This Sunday at 6pm Pacific/SLT, the multi-talented Felicia Day and other stars of the hit online video series "The Guild" will appear in Second Life as guests of "The Copper Robot", Mitch Wagner's ongoing podcast show that's recorded in-world. Even cooler, they'll appear as avatars of the MMORPG characters they play in the series. (Above left is Ms. Day herself; inset, her Guild character; right, her SL avatar.) This news has personal resonance for me, because I interviewed Felicia Day a couple years ago, shortly after the show launched; formerly a cast member of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Day wrote a script about a mismatched team of online gamers, and after television networks passed, she and her collaborators went ahead and developed the show themselves. Episodes have since been seen millions of times, and thanks to her DIY moxie and considerable charm, Felicia has gone on to become a major Net celebrity in her own right. (She also co-starred in Joss Whedon's beloved "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along".)
As fans of "The Guild" know, we never actually get to see the game they're so obsessed with. (Day told me they wanted to avoid copyright issues, and thought the 3D graphics would distract from the characters.) So it's a treat to see them finally realized as avatars in Second Life. They're the work of Rissa Maidstone, of metaverse development company Worlds2Worlds, who created them with existing SL assets. "I used a combination of her real life photo and her cartoon character as shown on the website," she tells me by email. "I did the same thing with Vork and Zaboo. Everything is 'off the shelf' though I spent hours shopping SL for each avatar trying to get as close a match as I could." In other words, she created avatars based on avatars, who are in turn based on actors.
More details at Mitch's blog. Hopefully this won't be their only in-world appearance.