Avatars Teleport from Second Life to IBM, but Show up Nude, (just like the Terminator)

WSJ has a blog post about Avatars being able to move from Second Life to IBM’s Green Island in a virtual world.

Avatars Teleport Away From Second Life

A small step for an avatar could turn out to be a giant leap for avatar-kind.


In Second Life

Linden Lab, creator of animated world Second Life, which people explore using simulated figures, is announcing Tuesday that some of those avatars have successfully been transferred—or “teleported,” in the jargon of virtual-world fans—to a separate world operated by International Business Machines Corp.

Why would anyone in the real world care? One of the raps on Second Life and its competitors is that they are essentially walled gardens. Each service is managed using proprietary software and viewed through unique programs.

Ultimately, expanding this medium beyond a tiny niche—and making three-dimensional simulations a standard feature of any Web site—will require breaking down these technical barriers.

In this experiment, the avatars are transferred, but they leave their clothes behind.

One quirk: The avatars can move among worlds, but their clothes can’t. In a video documenting the transfer, the characters pop up in the new environment in the gray, nude-looking form that is the default for new Second Life figures. And it’s not such a bad image for a kind of rebirth in cyberspace—dust to dust, ashes to ashes, pixels to pixels.

Second Life is looking for its second life after the hype for its virtual world has faded. But, with the slow economy and focus on reducing costs it is hard to imagine people are spending money on virtual clothes and real estate. So, maybe the avatars should be nude to reduce costs.