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Monday, October 12, 2009


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Ariane Brodie

That was one of the things I liked about There that I missing Second Life. The avatars in There react to their surroundings automatically. They turn their heads toward who is speaking and they react to key words, it makes them feel like more than the mannequins you get with SL and other worlds.


Ariane -

i agree. funny - tho - i think Jeffery changed his mind about that stuff - he felt that automatic reactions were deceptive - an avatar might appear to be listening to you while his driver was away in another room.

but yea, the first thing i noticed when i first logged into there was that the other avatars were looking at me - right into my camera. it was cool.


Loraan Fierrens

Interesting post... in part because I was just in a teleconference at work (using one of those fancy rooms with the HD screens) and was thinking about the gaze issue while I wasn't paying attention to what people were saying. People would be staring "right at me," but they were actually looking at the person who was speaking... who was usually on another screen and not in my room. Disconcerting.

When I'm in Second Life talking with someone, I tend to focus my camera on their avatar… in part so my head turns to face them. Of course, that can backfire if I'm talking with them while looking at a build in the next sim over.

Say, qarl, is your website still working? Clicking on your link just takes me to one of those annoying search pages my ISP is putting up for unknown domains.

Tateru Nino

SL avatars also turn their heads towards speakers, often misleading a speaker than an AFK user is present.

This happens by default, though I think a suitably high-priority animation will suppress it.


There was an interesting paper about this in "Cyberpsychology & Behavior" a couple of years ago:

The Unbearable Likeness of Being Digital: The Persistence of Nonverbal Social Norms in Online Virtual Environments


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