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Friday, November 28, 2008


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Bela Lubezki

i am tall in RL, but not 2 metric meters as in SL. i wondered why i am oversized and i think it is because of (my) process of fiddling about the avatars sliders on my rezz day. i started with the (then correct) size, followed by the rest of the parts and proportions. in the end i looked ok, but grew with every detail i adjusted.
i think its one more slider to adjust it right again, but its somewhere on my endles list of things to do...

Arwyn Quandry

I've found that from what I read about MG avatars, they tend to be much taller than TG avatars on average. I see more avatars that are under 6 foot than over, and most girls choose to be around 5'6 - 5'10. My usual shape is right around 5'11. A lot of the time you can tell newbies here right away not just because of their duckwalk and default clothing and hair, but because of their height, since they tend towards the taller end, sometimes even huge. One thing that probably spurs people to be taller is the way things are made. In general, attachments are oriented towards taller, curvier figures, especially for girls, and furniture towards taller avatars as well. There was a study done that concluded that those with taller avatars were more confident than those with shorter ones. Could that have something to do with it?

Ann Otoole

I have various size shapes. Depends on what character and what role I happen to be playing on the world's largest stage at any given time.

People are sized the way they are in SL because they like it that way. It is entertainment.

To deride others because of their size is intolerance and is an abuse reportable offense whether tall or short.


mg? tg?


The actual size in feet and inches is a pretty irrelevant figure in SL, where everything is skewed larger. I find it easier to just the proportions right and not really worry about what some measuring prim tells me


to answer the original question, My avie is on the small side, just because I think she's cuter that way. I think she's actually around 5'7" or 5'8" but she looks smaller than that, mainly because of her proportions and because most other avs are bigger

Pavig Lok

Realistic av sizes are a very good thing. It means you can have realistic environments. If your av happens to be 8 feet tall and bumps their head on everything in some awkward manner.. that's kinda realistic too - they can enjoy the immerstion of choosing to be a freakish awkward giant lol

Kate Amdahl

I couldn't come up with a short answer, but this discussion made me go shrink myself. :) Then I posted this: http://kateamdahl.livejournal.com/51807.html , where I explain why even though I did, most resis aren't going to get shorter any time soon!

^^^\ Kate /^^^


my avatar is 85 tall in world with 100 length in legs. Not sure what that translates to in inches or metric, but I can claim this- we make out avatars tall for the same reason the culture of high heels evolved in 1st life. People like to feel tall and slim, or tall and sturdy. I remember being 7 y o in in 1st life and having to have my nose at the height of the adults asses. It was not fun and I don't want to feel the same in SL. Also, I tried to make my avatar my RL height once, and I couldn't get the proportion I wanted.

I feel my AV is as tall as it needs to be.

Shinesse Madison

I actually noticed this awhile ago. I started SL in 2004 and took a few breaks along the way. Back in spring 2007 I came back to hang with friends and what not. I realized that I was just really short compared to everyone else and I couldn't figure out why. When I started I thought I was pretty much average height, a few friends shorter or taller than me. Well I had a friend at the time who kept calling me "petite". Then I had a friend join and told them to dig around their inventory for a starter avie to help them figure out their look. It wasn't until that moment that I realized that SL is just breeding amazons.

Why do people continue to stay tall? Maybe they just don't realize how tall they are. If everyone in their circle of friends is a certain height they won't really notice that "hey I am 8 feet tall" because that's normal to them. I think this is the case more often than not.

Nightbird Glineux

(Laughs at what Pavig said.)

My avi is 5'8". I don't recall if that includes heels. Or prim hair, for that matter...

I haven't changed the height of the shape that I bought. I was still kind of new, so I didn't immediately catch on that in "The Land of the 7 Foot Tall Women," I was real short. But that's OK, a lot of Latina women are short, so that's realistic.

Nightbird Glineux


Fogwoman Gray

My first year in SL was spent avoiding others, so I had no real basis of comparison. I set my avatar to fit the world I inhabited, and the houses in it. When I settled in Caledon and began to socialize I realized I was very tall - used a "how tall are you" measure and was appalled. I am now a bit shorter in SL than in RL, and the doorknobs on most prefabs are at approximately nose height. It was explained to me that the size of buildings is set by camera movement, and a friend who made a building scaled to his realistic size had to stay in mouselook inside or the camera was outside the walls. So I think that one thing has led to the next, resulting in a less than realistic world.
And to answer the spluttering troll, yes I live in a land that has fat people and old people and some spectacularly ugly ones, also blue and furry and tiny......I suggest some therapy for those issues :)

Jennatar Flow

I googled "average height in Second Life" last week, and although I lost interest before I'd found a cut-and-dry answer, I felt like my suspicions -- that most people are between 7 and 8 feet tall -- were confirmed.

My avatar is the equivalent of a real-world 5'4". At the outset, my avatar began a little bit paunchier, until one day an 8-foot tall woman marched up behind her and started shoving her repeatedly, each time punctuating it with "LMAO!" What I remember about it clearest, though, was how the tall woman's shoes glittered.

I finally typed, "It's extremely unnerving, the way your hair is moving in the wind indoors," and she vanished.


After exploring the virtual world Second Life, I feel that some people may be taking their virtual life a bit too far. Some spending hours upon hours on the computer making virtual friends, having virtual sex and finding virtual happiness. I believe that all of this time spent on the computer takes people away from their reality in a negative way. Those hours spent in a virtual world could be spent making their first life more enjoyable, their real relationships more fulfilling and their actual sex life more pleasurable. I wouldn’t doubt if all of these hours spent on the computer have actually hurt their friendships, relationships and quality of their first life. I feel that spending hours online in a virtual world can cause feelings of isolation. Although today I was able to transport to a Las Vegas style casino, a dance club and an Art Gallery, when it was time to log off and face reality I was a bit depressed. I had just spent 2 hours making friends I will never meet instead of spending that time with real family and friends

CyFishy Traveler

Petey08--as a wise avie pointed out, the opposite of virtual is not 'real'. It is 'physical'. And spending time in a virtual world does not preclude interacting in a physical one any more than time spent watching television means you'll never have a 'real life'. It's simply a matter of balance and priorities.

As for the height thing, I rezzed a box and set it to 0.305 meters (one foot) to see what a virtual 'foot' looked like.

And you know what? It looked small. It didn't look like a foot to me. I stacked up six 'feet' to see what it looked like and it still looked smallish.

While you can zoom your camera around any way you like, the fact is the default camera position is at a far enough distance that you have to make things larger just in order to SEE them on your screen. And the numbers are ultimately arbitrary anyway--they could just as easily re-calibrate things so one virtual 'foot' was now the six inches or so that it appears to be and change absolutely nothing else, so insisting that you HAVE to be 5' 9" according to the in-world measurements because that's 'realistic' just seems a bit silly to me.

Bixyl Shuftan

Being a science-fiction nut, I based my fox avatar's 5' 1" height off those of some foxlike aliens from a story I was reading at the time, whom averaged 5 ft high. It has been something of a mixed blessing as some girls joke I have some less than innocent intentions with an avie a head shorter than most, especially when giving someone a hug.

Valiant Westland

It's unfortunate that SL's skewed scale, combined with a lack of native tools for importing 1st Life designs from AutoCad ,etc., make it so difficult to use SL to replicate 1st Life environments. Although Google's Lively is "going away," their Google Earth & Sketch Up products are on the way to becoming "industry standards" for quickly and cost-effectively creating a wide range of architectural and urban planning prototyping projects.

Being able to easily create simulated 1st Life environments, that were "true to scale," would open up a huge number of business opportunities for LL and SL entrepreneurs. I hope we see one or more of the OpenSim projects embrace "TrueScale(TM)" technology/standards in the near future.

Tateru Nino

Just a bit shorter than my RL height. My heels add four inches (though they don't look nearly so high) - so I chose a height that's a little shorter to compensate.

Doreen Garrigus

(LOL Pavig! That made my morning.)

Hamlet, thanks for posting this--a lot of people have commented at length on my blog and I am learning a great deal about how everyone's thought process works.

I completely understand not being able to come up with a short answer to this question. It touches on many complex and individual variables. If you have a long answer, though, come on over and post it. I've read every single comment more than once. My goal is to get some kind of synthesis together and draw some conclusions before I ask the next question.

Thanks to the residents of Second Life for being so thoughtful and forthcoming.


haha CyFishy - love that answer and reality check

I am not sure if you have noticed but most hair in SL - well especially for men is geared for 65 size head - that means that your body needs to come to meet this size or you will look out of proportion. So, do you adjust every single hair you buy to make it smaller or you walk around with a big head looking like rhino?

Size is relative in SL - it really depends who you are standing next to, right?

Maryna Wind

I was quite some time at 60, but lately I mentioned that a lot of poseballs I made for 100 tall avatars. And I started to get comments that I look like a child. So I changed it to 85.


its funny i was just complaining the other day that i was accused of being a child avatar due to my height at a live concert... the security im'ed me asking my age, when i replied with 27 they said "your avatar says different"

i am 5'4 in rl and a few inches taller than that in sl to adjust on poseballs with my partner. i don't understand the people who make their avvies so tall o.o they all look like giants


I am 6'7" and have no genitals. Just like my avatar.

cyn vandeverre

I agree with Miss Grey -- it's the camera hanging a meter or two above and behind our heads. There's no way to adjust this.

I made some measuring sticks last year and set them out on my land. People have told me they are instructive, even if they don't end up changing their avatar, which is fine with me.

Here's a picture:


I'm about 6 feet tall - because I like that height. It think it's interesting that we can have avatars that are furries, dragons, elves and even chickens; but if you want to be humanoid in form you have to defend (to some) your decision to be a different height than you are in the real world. This would seem more than a little silly to me.


My avatar is 6'0" which is my RL height. In retrospect, it was a pretty arbitrary decision.

I don't mind the giants. I just wish more furniture designers would offer smaller versions of their pieces.

Nexus Burbclave

I fully support those who choose to be shorter for whatever reasons they have. I think they should be able to do so without persecution. However there seems to be what probably amounts to a vocal minority among the "real size" crowd that aren't content with "this is what I choose" and instead move to "this is what you should do whether you feel as I do or not". This I have a problem with. As my grandmother always taught me, two wrongs don't make a right. If you become a reality cop, you become no better than the bullies that give you grief for the size that you choose.

I'm not 8 feet tall in first life. I also can't fly, teleport, grow cyborg parts or turn into a dragon. Guess how many of these things I want to give up in the name of being truer to reality. If you guessed none, you guessed correctly. If anyone wants to give you grief for choosing a more realistic height, this big guy's got your back, but please don't try to impose your views on me by telling me how my avatar SHOULD be. Thanks.


The importance of CyFishy's point about the default camera position influencing hir choice of avatar-size cannot be overstated, nor can the point others have made here about how a person's comfort in an SL-building is hugely impacted by how much or how little room there is to move your *camera* around in the space.

I think these two concerns underlie all the others (self-confidence, herd-mentality, etc.), and, combined with the generally patchworked, surreal, "Bebop Reality" (thx, Hamlet) nature of the SL-environment at large, push users towards avs that just *feel* the right size, *in their own viewers,* regardless of any arbitrary numbers or conventional measurements, and highlight the basic fact that SL IS NOT BUILT FOR HUMAN BODIES. IT'S BUILT FOR **AVATARS**!!

Seven Shikami

Personal freedom of expression and stuff is real nice and all, but I'd just like to know how big I need to build my stuff to accommodate these gargantuan avatars, since RL sizes are completely moot thanks to overly huge slider yanking. Fine, be an amazon, whatever, but don't come crying to me when I make a chair or a game or anything that looks like dollhouse furniture compared to your towering physique.

Nexus Burbclave

@Seven, personal freedom of expression "and stuff" are not "real nice and all". Personal freedom of expression is the main reason that many people came to Second Life - "Your world, your imagination". Sorry, this is a bit snarkier than I typically like to be, but you're poking at a nerve here by being so dismissive of personal freedom.

It seems like from many of the comments, there is plenty of furniture for "amazons" and not enough for more proportional avatars. If you are building for more "realistic" sizes, it sounds like you have a potentially lucrative market. You should be sure to mention "designed for realistic proportions" or something to that effect in your advertising. It looks like you've got a lot of potential customers.

Doreen Garrigus

Nexus, you are brilliant. I was thinking exactly the same thing.

Because I have had so many comments from people lamenting the lack of furniture, buildings, and clothing scaled to realistic proportions, I am going to make a resource page for realistically scaled avatars.

Here is my proposal: if you are a content creator who makes things to more realistic proportions, label your creations "Human Scale" and drop me a notecard with details about what you have and where to buy it. I'll get links posted on my resource page.

Nexus Burbclave

Thanks Doreen. I think "human scale" is the perfect descriptor.

These threads have opened my eyes to one thing I hadn't given enough consideration. We come in all shapes and sizes on the grid, which is exactly how I like it. Although I know this to be true, I've always scaled my content to my avatar as is, and haven't really thought to create some avatars of various shapes and sizes to test my creations with. I believe that shall be my next order of business in-world.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

Perhaps it goes back to seeing Attack of the Fifty-Foot Woman as a child and wishing I could be the pretty tall lady... but I saw the height slider and immediately ran it all the way up. (Ditto for leg length; I even cut way back on torso length to get longer legs.) Even then I'm not satisfied; I have bought a set of 1.5m platform shoes from Curio Obscura, and set to making a REALLY long prim skirt to hide them.

I do pay for that. There have been stairways and doorways I can't get through (can't I make my avatar duck?), Victorian outfits designed for more average shapes that shockingly display my... my ankles (gasp!), and glitchpants that go way below the corresponding prim skirts, including those on outfits the vendor has chosen to make "no modify". My feet go underground when I sit, and cross-legged sitting poses range from wrong to very wrong.

The world of SL is developed enough that the height "arms race" LL feared when they set limits on the avatar won't happen. Those inconveniences and others will mean that only people like me will choose to be giants and giantesses, and then probably only part of the time.

At least that will be the case if people can make informed choices. A 0-100 slider value tells you nothing. The appearance popup should keep a running display of your height that is updated when you adjust a slider that affects height. (I'd hope for displays of lengths of other body parts as well.)

Arcadian Vanalten

Honestly, when I first built my avvie, he was way overtall because the slider just notes a 0-100 rather than any RL metric reference. Heck, I figured 100 would be around 7', and 50% would be the population average height (5' 10") so I undershot that for a setting in the mid to upper 80's to make a tall, but normal, avvie. It was months before I discovered one of those avvie measurement cube thingies. Then I shrank. Then was told by the club I was hosting at that I needed to go back up, and then some, to 6'8 so if I dance w/ a female guest, I'm not floating in the air. Today, I have a few different sizes for different avvie styles(although I do think that if you have a problem with tall avatars, really, that's your issue and no one else's).

Guys DO have trouble w/ the cooler prim clothes unless they're larger sized; fine prim-work detailing can't be shrunk past a certain point to fit smaller avvies (although it CAN be stretched up to fit bigger guys). Designers, PLEASE build small, then make it moddable to stretch upward. Much easier that way. I have a whole inventory loaded w/ cool belts that float 3 inches from my waist (sigh), but they can't be shrunk further w/o doing major linked-parts surgery (which with me has a HIGH screwup potential).


Well, some of you may be pleased to know that ALL Female MADesigns Shapes now come in Human Scale Sizes (5'3") as well as original (tall - 100) and recommended (medium size for SL Scale - about 80 height).


What I don't get is your way of degrading avatars who set their height to fit the enviroment and other avatars. I'm medium sized in SL as in RL. SL 'me' is taller, to fit into SL better.
I see no need in picking a battle of making SL fit *ME* instad of accepting the fact that it's made for avatars. By all means, create furniture, clothes and jewellery for human height. It's a market for it, just as it's a market for clothes for furries or tinys.
That's fine with me. Just don't try to push your beliefs on me. What gives you the right to betitle others like you do? You couldn't say those things about darkskinned avatars in a public forum, but you are free to use it on avatars who's 6-8 feet tall? Let me use your way of language about avatars with blue eyes:
Thers's too many blueeyed avatars in SL. This isn't realistic? Why do so many choose blue eyes in SL? Don't they know how stupid it looks? I think LL should find a way to inform new players about that in RL, there are more brown eyes than blue. Every time I see an avatar with blinging shoes and ugly hair, they have blue eyes.
It isn't realistic to fly or have an inventory of 30000 items either, that you carry easy in your pocket. You want SL to be like RL, so you can't teleport or carry more stuff with your avatar than you could in RL. The rest of your inventory you had to store some place. And if you wanted to visit a friend, you had to walk or get a car or plane. And you couldn't just pull that out of your pocket!

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