Virtual Transgender, Avatar Mortality and More with Marc Owens

15 08 2008
SABRE & MACE Memorial

SABRE & MACE Memorial in SL

From We Make Money, Not Art, a great profile of artist Marc Owens

He makes interesting works that bridge the gap between real and virtual, including the Avatar Machine.  More recently he has created the Virtual Transgender suit, which puts the inclination for virtual cross dressing into  RL by allowing males to replicate the digital aesthetics of the female form by wearing a RL costume.  According to a study cited, apparently more than 1/2 of all gamers choose avatars of the opposite gender.  Hmmm…

More interesting to Mediasapien is Owen’s collaboration with Tony Mullin, called SABRE & MACE.  It’s is basically a mortality service for Second Life avatars, offering a complete package of death-related virtual needs.  Their service offers users more than just a way to delete old avatars and alts.  They are providing a channel for sentimentality and relevance towards digital identities.  This is done through a somewhat chilling orientation, in which users are given a chance to write a last will and testament, shown the “storage chamber” and told to expect a “tap on the shoulder” one day soon by a rep, who will guide them through the final process.  Once the account is “deleted, ” all that remains is a golden statue of the avatar on a massive, somewhat Mayan monument.

Read the whole story here.

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