In my first blog post about the “life” of avatars, I joked about avatar deaths being the riveting subject of the next Law and Order episode. I really meant it as a joke. Hollywood execs must’ve seen their opportunity, however, because Gore Verbinski (of Pirates of the Caribbean fame) has secured the rights to the story of a Second Life nut who “cheats” on his wife, much like the scandal in the UK.
Dubbed Sadville: The Movie!, the sure-to-be-yawnfest chronicles the life of a 53-year old diabetic chain-smoker who’s addicted to living life through his Second Life avatar, a buff entrepreneur who apparently womanizes. So far, I’m picturing 90 minutes of raw footage of a balding, overweight man with nicotine stains on his left fingers and Cheetos stains on his right fingers. I can only hope Gore Verbinski plans to add some actual plot to this storyline.
I had genuinely hoped that my last entry would be my final complaint on the topic, but people keep upping the ante and doing stupider things with avatars. Now Hollywood is justifying it by making a movie about it. Where can it go from here? Sadville: The Musical?
For awhile, it seemed as though avatars were being used for good. Virtual trade shows are a great way to get people to attend conferences without getting on a plane, which Cisco took advantage of for their partners. While I still consider IBM’s partners-only “avatar island” a sad attempt at being hip, at least they were trying to leverage Second Life for legitimate business purposes. People are going to forget how to interact with each other and only exist through a miniature glorified cartoon version of themselves. I hope this movie tanks and people stop doing stupid things because their second lives have taken over their initial lives.