Vanessa Blaylock has transcended the video game world by bringing her in game avatars to social media. She has attempted to create a genuine identity surrounding her video game persona.
What is surprising about her avatars is how “normal” they usually look. They are confident, attractive, and rather serious. Many people use avatars to act out a fantasy or to be somebody that they are not. It begs the question, is this the “real” Vanessa Blaylock or not?
‘Rust’ is a popular MMO (massively multiplayer online) video game where up to 300 players can inhabit one world simultaneously. Your avatar starts off naked with some basic tools. All of the clothes, weapons, and tools you use must be found on the ground or stolen from other players. The object of the game is survival. The appearance of your avatar in the game says a lot about your status and ability in the game. It is difficult to collect a set of matching clothes and more powerful weapons. It is impressive when you see another player with nicer clothes and weapons. If I am playing with a group of friends we will frequently dress alike so that we stand out and intimidate our competitors.
I do not take my avatars outside of the game. However, I can see why one might open a twitter account for their Second Life avatar. The game is an attempt to recreate real life so it is only natural that the people you meet in the game would take part in the usual social media outlets. The internet has completely changed the humans interact with each other. People like Vanessa Blaylock are a reminder of how far some are willing to go to ‘be’ their online persona.