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Page history last edited by Kristin Scott 14 years, 7 months ago

To do by Monday, March 16th:


This assignment will not be due until the first Monday after Spring break - March 16th, but I expect each of you to spend at least 6-8 hours in-world over the next couple of weeks, so that your response to this assignment is informed by as much experience/interaction as possible. (NOTE: because I'm giving you longer to complete this assignment, my expectations will be higher! See below -).


For the next two weeks, I want each of you to change your avatar's sex and/or race for two full weeks - or change into a body (male/female; whatever ethnicity) that you believe would be most personally challenging to you (I will explain this in class). In order to change your bodies, you will likely have to have acquire a "skin," and although you can change your sex by right clicking on your avatar and clicking on "appearance" and then changing from male to female or female to male and darken or lighten your skin under the "appearance/skin" tabs, the best way to change your avatar is to acquire another (hopefully free) skin and shape of a male/female and/or different race. Below are just a few places you might go to get free skins (and a bunch of other free stuff, too!) - this is the same list of places I gave you the first assignment. The links below are SLurls you can use to teleport yourself to these locations (many of which you may already have been to): 


  1. Free Dove
  2. Milky 9
  3. Yadni's Junkyard
  4. Rockcliffe University Library (on the shelves on the right side of library)
  5. Freebies Beach
  6. The Muse Village
  7. Sarah Nerd's Freebie Paradise
  8. NCI Kuula - New Citizens Incorporated
  9. Dream Saint Vincent
  10. The Free Dove
  11. The Changing Room for Women - Ladies at Noob Island
  12. Freebies Store of Free Union


You could also just do a search for "freebies" or "free skins" and see what else comes up. Or, you can use the money you recently earned to purchase a new skin.


Some suggestions for changing your look:


  • For a more authentic look, you should try to find a skin rather than just change your sex or color (for race) in your "appearance" tab.
  • Be sure you get a shape, skin, and hair that works for your new self, as well as some clothes (if humanly necessary) that fit your new body. Don't spend an inordinate amount of time, though, making up your alternate self, because I'm more interested in your experiences than having you spend hours just changing your look. So even if you just wear generic clothes for the week, that's fine - as long as you are at least convincingly of your chosen race/gender. Although a male skin will work on a female shape (and vice versa) the results are often quite horrid. 
  • Once you've acquired a free skin or shape (usually in a box), in order to wear it, you will need to open the box and then either 1) copy to inventory and wear or 2) copy to inventory and put them on later.
  • Note that your Library folder, in your inventory, contains "stock" male and female avatars of both genders. Look in the "clothing" folder of your library and you should also find a folder for each of the default SL avatars. To use these pre-made avatars, you will have to drag the contents of the folder (one item at a time) to your inventory folder. It is tedious, but it works. With non-human avatar skins, you should be able to drag the contents of the file onto your avatar and change your look.


Once you have changed sex and/or race, you will go to at least EIGHT different places populated by a number of avatars, over several days, to see how you are treated. Whenever you can, engage with other (unknown) avatars, through conversation.  Then discuss, below, your experiences, as guided by the questions below. Be sure to include at least two photos of yourself in your new body.




You must go at least 8 fairly populated places. For this assignment, since you are "undercover," you will want to either adjust your profile to reflect your new sex/gender or simply leave it blank.  Whenever you go to a new place, turn on the chat and IM logs so that you can share examples later, but because you are undercover, you will NOT ask permission to record conversations; rather, you will edit the avatar's names before posting (to protect their identities). However, if you take any photos with avatars, you will want to ask permission first or edit out their faces and names prior to posting.


Rather than posting a full response to this assignment here, in the comment area below (where you have a limited response ability), I want each of you to post your response to this assignment on a NEW PAGE that you create that links from YOUR PROFILE PAGE on your GROUP WIKI (I will walk you through how to do this in class on Monday, Feb. 23rd. Then, and provide the direct link here in the comments below. This page you create (linked from your group profile page) should include at least three photographs, some brief chat examples, and a thorough analysis of your experiences based on the questions below. Additionally, you must reference at least three recent readings (can be any three we've read in the past several weeks) and attempt to explain, illuminate, or further inform your experiences through the use of these (chosen) three authors.


THIS WIKI RESPONSE WILL COUNT AS THREE WEEKLY RESPONSES, so be sure to take your time with this one and do the best job you can. Think of it as an equivalent of a midterm essay.


Consider the following questions/prompts when writing about your experiences: You must address ALL the questions below. I'm fine if you diverge a bit, but the answers to almost all these questions below should be evident within your response and tied into your experiences, but also your recent readings!


  1. Describe how YOU felt taking on a different sex and/or race identity; if you changed into a non-human avatar, describe your feelings in this body.
  2. Did you notice yourself acting differently? In what ways did you feel limited? Challenged? What actions or behaviors were comfortable? And what expectations did you have of your own actions, behavior, or dress (in your new identity)? What changes did you feel you needed to make in your actions, dress, or behavior to pull off your new identity? Were you successful? Explain.
  3. Describe the places you visited, the population there, and your interactions. Did others treat you about the same as before, or did you feel as though you were treated differently? Explain and be sure to provide examples and/or transcripts if applicable (be sure to edit out avatar names, though).
  4. Were you hyper-conscious of your alternate self, or did you feel comfortable in your new skin? Explain.
  5. What were you able to do that you did not feel comfortable doing before? What did you feel unable to do that you were able to do before? What insights, if any, did you have into your alternate race, gender, or non-human status as a result of this experiment? 
  6. How do your alternate identity experiences in Second Life reflect any of the recent readings and/or conversations we've had in class? In what ways, if any, did you feel like an identity tourist, for example? In what ways were you perhaps able to explore an alternate side of your real self in a way you don't feel comfortable doing in RL? 





The following links provide an individual account of their virtual experiences:


Lauren Blankenship


Mickella Simone Ross


Barbara Stephanitsis


Morgan Allen


Will Ware


Lauren Peacock 


Jessica Taylor


Tasha Rivers


Krysti Moody


Lainie Cooke


Susie Hwang


Judy Aldridge


Lubna Ghazi


Theresa Gieseler


Angelica Singh


Neil Oates


Kristin Philbrick 


Kimberly Oswald


Jimmy Greene

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