Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style
While Hamlet's busy in in China I decided it would be the perfect time to give his dreadfully dated avatar a complete makeover, and you guys offered a tidal wave of excellent advice. I took it all under consideration yesterday when I brought Hamlet's avatar out for a little shopping spree, and I think the results speak for themselves. Are you ready for the big reveal? Imagine a drum roll, if you will...
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Hamlet 3.0, modelling some of SL's best brands and top (current) styles. Drink it all in:
That is one dashing virtual man about town right there. I'll admit he may be a bit of a departure from real life Hamlet (and from past Hamlet avatars), but I think he's still recognizable as the Hamlet Au we know and love. Let me walk you through the decisions I've made along with all the details of this dapper av:
- In the comments last week, James Schwarz mentioned Exile [SL Marketplace] [SLURL] for a slightly curly cropped hairstyle for men, and Dustin was a near-perfect fit. I edited the bangs a little so they were a little less swooshy and almost emo, and I think the style we're left with is just what the doctor ordered. Hamlet's original avatar had black hair so I decided to channel the classic caricature instead of sticking with the lighter brown that his 2010 av had. I think it looks much more distinct and distinguished... though it's not set in stone, either.
- Skins were very tricky. Most male skins in SL are for hard-jawed brooding men with sucked-in cheeks (and cheekbones that could cut glass), and most of them look... very, very weird on Hamlet. Even weirder was seeing him without the facial hair, which he suggested might be retired like his glasses were in 2010. I tried very hard to find a bare-faced skin that worked, but ultimately I settled on the Jack skin with facial hair from Birth [SL Marketplace] [SLURL], recommended by Haley Solomon. A baby-faced Hamlet just felt off to me, especially with the sharp cheeks and razor-fine features most mens skins have now, so hopefully this is a livable alternative for everyone.
- Hamlets eyes were okay, but I updated them with a pair of mesh City Lights eyes from Insufferable Dastard [SL Marketplace] [SLURL] anyway-- who knows when I'll have the chance to update them next, after all?
- Ah the suit, the white suit... It was a staple, but many folks agreed that it was just a bit cheesy at this point. I decided to go with something a litle different and picked the Willard mesh ensemble from FATEwear [SL Marketplace] [SLURL] which was recommended by countless people (and was admittedly my plan all along). I think this white and grey look is a little more up to date while still being recognizably Hamlet, even more so since I tinted the mesh tie to match Hamlet's beloved old NWN flexi tie.
- I also tweaked his shape little by little at this point in the process to make sure that both the skin and the suit looked good. That means that I adjusted his lips, widened his hips and waistline, toned down his barrel-chestedness (and his duffel bag) tremendously, and even added a bit of length to his arms and legs. What's SL without a healthy dose of idealization in your avatar, right?
- I also couldn't help but put Hamlet in one of my favorite pairs of men's shoes in SL, the polished Classic Loafers from Redgrave [SL Marketplace] [SLURL]. They're sculpted and not mesh (boo hoo!) but they definitely still hold up.
The final touch is a laid-back AO without too much superfluous fidgeting, the Posing Man AO from Oracul [SL Marketplace] [SLURL]. I made sure to pick an AO that was relaxed and not too aggressive, either-- just perfect postures for a virtual world journalist.
Overall I like most of the changes. I am a little sad that as much as I wanted to maintain many of the features of a true-to-life virtual Hamlet he somehow transformed even more into International Male Supermodel Hamlet Au instead (or a lost member of the Banderas family), so there may still be a few tweaks and changes to come. For now at least he has shoes on, right?
So tell me what you think: Did I strike gold... Or miss the mark? Let me know in the comments!Tweet
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.