Tomorrow — Sunday — at 2PM Pacific (11AM Eastern, 10PM UK) I’m doing my in-game book-signing in Second Life, a massively multiplayer online world with an extensive toolkit for creating in-game artifacts that have sophisticated behaviors and appearances (I once met a guy who makes a real living making and selling in-game penises).
The Second Lifers made a special effort to make me welcome, holding a design competition to create an in-game edition of my new book, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (which included a replica cover made by creating an in-game avatar that looked like the girl on the cover’s brilliant Dave McKean painting, posing it, and taking screenshots).
They also roped a Second Lifer, lilith Pendragon, into creating a custom avatar for me that looks pretty eerily lifelike (I logged in for a bit last night and made it do funky disco moves that required a lot more coordination that the real-life me could ever muster).
Second Life’s in-game reporter, Hamlet Linden, has run a fascinating interview with lilith, who apparently has a whole in-gmae business creating custom avatars for players:
So lilith’s Cory Doctorow joins an esteemed list of her celebrity tributes which also include Frieda Kahlo and Shirley Manson of Garbage (lilith most often wears her Ms. Manson, on herself). Her Cory is so exacting, I initially assumed she’d created a custom skin of him in Photoshop. But as she tells it, she brought Doctorow into this world “just using the [default avatar creation] sliders and looking at his pic. Then I made all the clothes in Photoshop.”
She did have a challenge recreating Cory’s skull-hugging haircut, however.
“I tried to do his hair with prims to get the flat top, but it just looked horrid, and I’m not patient,” she says. “Made a hair texture for his head, similar to how I did the corn rows for Snoop, and tweaked the hair sliders to make a little stick up in front.”