Friday, September 21, 2012

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Crazy Cute Mesh Hamster Avatars Take SL by Storm!

Arcade Gacha Hamster 

Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Since the recent opening of the The Arcade [SLURL] and its inaugural Gacha event (more on those below), Suetabulous Yootz's ultra-adorable mesh hamster avatars have been all over Plurk, Flickr, and the fashion feeds. It's no big mystery why, either. They're well-made, well-priced, come with an animation-overrider, and (if you're lucky) and extra accessory.

Every so often there's a new and novel avatar released that captures the imaginations of snap-happy SL residents, and even though it's only been out for a week, there's no doubt that it's the next big novelty avatar trend. Not so sure? Check out this adorable video by Lainy Voom to see one of these avs in action:

Keep reading to see what people are doing with their hammy-hamsters, and for more details about snagging one of your own!

Arcade Gacha

The Arcade is a rather gorgeous gacha venue with old-fashioned boardwalk ambiance that recently opened to host events just like this one... and if there's one thing that fashionistas love more than ridiculously cute avatars, it's gacha festivals.

7985261677_6ac61016ccIf you're not in the know already, gacha machines are sort of a lucky dip gumball machine. Designers make a bunch of different varieties of an item, sometimes including rare versions, and load the gacha machine up with them. Customers then pay the gacha machine to get a random item. While there's no guarantee you'll get the exact variation you want on your first try, gacha machines are also usually very cheap to play, cheaper than buying an item directly would be. It's great fun if you aren't too obsessive about getting a specific color or variation, but even if you are there are always plenty of people looking to trade. There are oodles of machines set up at The Arcade for this event, containing everything from furniture to skins, and even the light-up letter items by Commoner that I used to spell out 'LUV' in my top image.

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It's the hamsters that are really capturing peoples' imaginations, though. The rigged mesh bodies and large size (each hamster is about 5 feet tall) allow for the seamless use of a lot of pre-existing poses, and any modifiable accessory can porbably be scaled to fit them. Naturally, this means Flickr is filling up with capering, well-accessorized hamsters, like the pair in the above pic by tsugu Nirvana.

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I also adore this snap by Amelie Knelstrom that seems to be inspired by children's classic Where the Wild Things Are, definitely one of the cleverest (and cutest) ham-pics so far!

You can visit The Arcade's Flickr group to see and share more pics of these fuzzballs (and other gacha goodies), or follow The Arcade's official Tumblr to keep track of this and future events! And obviously, don't forget to pick up your own hamster avatar by Suetabulous Yootz of Beetlebones at The Arcade! [SLURL]

Mixed_reality_iris2010 Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.

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shockwave yareach

Oh, that's awesome! The potential for Mesh in avatar creation is simply mindboggling.

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