Dude looks like a lady – Adventures of a female avatarDecember 16, 2008
With the recent release of the Playstation Home beta–a release I believe was too soon–I decided to test the waters. I created the typical avatar that resembled my likeness and proceeded to walk around and just load all the areas in the service. Of course, there was dancing, a few people playing games, the awful Twilight trailer and music video, and some chatting going around. A was pretty boring experience in Home which has yet to implement enough content to keep my interest. So I figured to try a gender-bending gamble and create a female avatar.
I decided to go with a fairly attractive female avatar. Give her some gloves for attitude and maybe some earphones. There isn’t much you can do in the clothing and accessories department in Home right now. So I finished making my girl and went out on the town for a stroll. Already I see her move her hips as she walks. Nice play Sony, I look pretty sexy. Immediately the experience seems quite different. It is not a stretch to claim that Home is pretty much a sausagefest. There are a couple girl avatars but it is predominantly made up of guys and a few creative avatar characters here and there. I clearly stick out like a thumb and I get the strange feeling that I am being watched all the time.
As I pass people I realize how much I stand out as a girl in the game space and wonder if people are following me or the conversation pop-ups that appear are directed at me. It is extremely revealing and oppressive that privacy begins to dissolve and suddenly I become the center of attention. I quickly run toward a group of girls that are dancing as if it were an oasis. They dutifully ignore me. Girls, just as guys, are as afraid of creating online relationships. There is no reason to believe that just because I am the same sex automatically makes us friends.
I decide to go to the bowling alley. I have had the nudging impression that I am the center of attention so I decide to embrace it. I sit down on the floor in front of a television in the game space that is playing a video loop of Playstation games and peripherals. A male avatar decides to sit down next to me. Is he hitting on me? Suddenly, a small group begins to for around me. Someone greets, “What’s up niggers?” I reply, “Racism.” He quickly leaves. It comes to attention of my male companion that I am ignoring him. He gets up and begins to dance with thrusts as his virtual crotch rams into my virtual face. I appear to be giving him a blow job. Quickly, I perform a thumbs down with my avatar and leave. I assume the guy feels bad as he begins to follow me. Seriously? He just raped me in the face and now he wants to be friends. I am immediately reminded of President Laura Roslin from the show Battlestar Galactica. Errands force me to leave so I turn off my console.
Later that day I finally get a minute to turn on my PS3. What do you know, I friend request from my male abuser. I do a quick search of the screen name on Google and I learn that kid is in high school. Do I continue our doomed relationship and string him along? No. I actually have a heart and more important things to do with my time. Request rejected. Come back for my next blog post as I see how a more “homely” female avatar lives in this Second Life clone.