Virtual World Avatar Branding

Virtual World Avatar Branding

Thomas J. Mowbray (The Ohio State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5150-0.ch005
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Abstract

Avatar branding is the process of creating a virtual personality, establishing a well-known virtual identity, and immersing oneself as an active participant in virtual society. In virtual worlds such as Second Life and the many Opensim worlds, avatar branding is an essential capability for many kinds of virtual world users, such as fine artists, musicians, poets, writers, deejays, athletes, actors, fashion designers, and other kinds of virtual celebrities. This chapter discusses the process of avatar branding and covers several examples of famous branded avatars.
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Background

For the purposes of this chapter, the scope of virtual worlds includes Second Life and the numerous Opensim worlds (http://opensimulator.org). Second Life (SL) is the social and economic center of virtual worlds, so the focus on avatar branding primarily applies to this world. Branded avatars have an increasing presence in Opensim worlds; for example, numerous SL musicians are available to play concerts in Opensim.

Opensim and Second Life share a common technology base; Opensim is the open source release of SL technology. Some essential SL features were held back by Linden Research, in particular the in-world events listings. Which is interesting: it indicates that Linden Research understands that the core of SL society revolves around outstanding advertising infrastructure. Avatar branding will use and benefit from this infrastructure.

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