8 thoughts on “UPDATED! Editorial: Old Age in Virtual Worlds and Social VR—Why the Representation of Aging Matters in the Metaverse”

  1. The problem is with the user who thinks that they need to be represented accurately in an artificial virtual world. Second Life and other virtual worlds are not real places and shouldn’t be treated like real places. They are a chance to be or do something else. Of course if people are given the choice, they choose to be young, fit, and beautiful. This is a chance to be anything and I think people of all ages want to look attractive – at least attractive in the popular sense. Me, I don’t really care. I am an older guy and I don’t care whether my avatar looks young or old, but I agree that we need to see more older looking avatars, just to balance things out and to make it interesting.

    1. Pretty obvious why (if you really want the raw truth), older people are uglier, broken, worn out, ghosts and society rejects them silently (remember we are animals). Young people shout boomer, bald, fat, saggy, coffin dodger, and then we ask “why do we want younger avatars?”. People want to relive their youth, experience all those good feelings again, dance again, be loved again, belong again, be beautiful again, be wanted… not to be tired, rejected, ugly, frightening, shaky, fat, grey old monsters of society, society is the problem, and our education, but no denying the fact plastered on every teens bedroom is a poster of a young beautiful person, Not the queen of England. Sorry about the truth, everyone younger thinks this, its just that we have learned to lie so amazingly well in modern times, but if we look after ourselves, eat well, sleep well we will all live to be old, just the truth, but that’s life.

  2. Thank you for this article. When I first came to Second Life I tried to make an avatar that looked more like the ‘real life’ me, but my options were limited. You’ve shown me that there are more choices now.

  3. It isn’t just age. Just try wanting a short, stocky body. You can do this, but nothing you buy will fit you very well.

  4. I do not have an obligation to do anything in SL to represent any particular demographic of which I am a member. I am 56 years old, female, and generally live in exercise wear and jeans. I am overweight. I own a home of less than 1000 square feet. I drive an 18 year old car.

    I go to SL to escape that reality, so my avatar looks to be in her 20s, is fit, wears ballgowns and party dresses, and skyhigh heels that I couldn’t touch in reality. I live in a Victorian house in Bellisseria and don’t own a car because nobody needs one!

    This post seems to couch the topic in terms of obligation, that the world of SL is somehow deficient if it doesn’t have old folks running around. I’m not comfortable with that even though I AM one of those old folks in reality. Are you also going to tell people in wheelchairs in RL that they should represent in SL as well and only run around in wheelchairs? I hope not. At least SL gives them a chance to “walk.”

    SL gives me a chance to be young, pretty, and rich which is something I never experienced. Thank God SL doesn’t force us to represent our real life selves in world.

    1. Well said, thank you Lysi!

      Of course, I wasn’t suggesting that people MUST represent in SL as they appear in real life, and I apologize if my blogpost made it sound that way. It’s your Second Life; be whoever (or whatever!) you want to be.

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