Sunday, August 3, 2008

Why a tiny? (Part 2)

As I explained in Part 1, I had a problem with people making false assumptions about me based on the appearance of my two human avatars. As a tiny, though, people usually only assume two things about me, both of which happen to be true: First, that I am not a threat, and second, that I am not in SL for sex. Beyond that, if someone wants to know who I am, what I believe, and what my interests, likes, and dislikes are, they have to talk to me. This is as it should be.

People do not feel intimidated by a tiny, the way they might, to use common examples, in the presence of a male human avatar shaped like a wrestler with some prominent tattoos, or a female avatar built like a pornstar and wearing a tight black leather outfit. (This is not to suggest that there aren't human avatars who appear non-threatening and not on the make. Clearly, there are.)

On the sexual side, the gender of tinies is usually determinable from how they dress. The underlying animal avatar is genderless. Sex animations and poseballs do not work with us, since we have neither the "equipment" nor the elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle joints that such animations require. Even so, somebody has seen fit to create tiny BDSM outfits, although I suspect this has more to do with humor than with sex.

Another undeniable benefit of tinyhood is that we tend to be, if I say so myself, adorable. I have no idea what percentage of SL avatars are tiny, but I imagine that it is fairly small, since even an event that draws a large (50+) crowd -- if not tiny-specific -- will have only a couple of tinies in attendance. When I attend such an event, I almost always get at least a couple of instant messages from strangers: "Love your avie!" This does not happen at events that are aimed primarily at tinies, such as those sponsored by the Raglan Shire sims.

As I mentioned in Chapter One, there is also a downside to being tiny. A large part of this lies in the fact that, the vast majority of the time, tinies are not able properly to sit or ride on things that are meant to be sat or ridden upon, and we cannot take advantage of dances and other animations that may be contained in so-called "chims."

The sitting problem inspired me to design a "sitwedge" -- an object shaped like a piece of pie that contained a tiny sit pose. I could put one of these down on any surface on which I could rez an object and have a place to sit. The wedge shape allowed me to rotate it first to the direction I wanted to face while sitting. With Wynx's Tinymatic Lite HUD (or the full Tinymatic HUD, which you can purchase separately), which comes with her tiny avatars, there is no longer a need for such workarounds. There also exists a "tiny pose lock" that allows us to use some objects and animations that ordinarily would cause our folded limbs to pop out. Abranimations sells a large variety of dances specifically made for tiny avatars.

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