Convergent avatars

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that people encountered each other socially by presenting themselves as avatars of their choice. Suppose further that this mode of interaction were to achieve mass acceptance, so that everyone you know was visible primarily as their chosen avatar.

What would happen, over time, to the appearances of those avatars? Would they be wildly different from one another, reflecting the incredible visual diversity of the human condition?

Or would they converge to some idealized norm? Would everyone end up choosing an appearance oddly reminiscent of some famous actor, model or pop musician?

I hope for the former. Alas, I fear we will more likely end up with the latter.

One thought on “Convergent avatars”

  1. This is actually a very interesting topic as VRChat has already seen rise to this phenomenon. From my experience, (via videos and other friends streaming the platform) its actually quite diverse. You’ll have people willing to pay upwards of like $1k on a customized avatar with fancy features to an experienced artist/programmer that specializes in this design. However, I also believe a mechanic exists that allows other users to “share” their playermodels to others, effectively giving newer players who don’t have any flashy avatars another possible choice.

    However, one thing to definitely take into account is the fact that this platform isn’t necessarily mainstream (hell, I don’t use it since people on it seem kinda weird). Just food for thought! -DC

    One other thing to add:
    What’s relatively scary to think about is the possibility that customizing your avatar may be locked behind paywalls. Think of CS:GO or League of Legends and how certain textures or “skins” are locked behind crates that effectively incentivize gambling.

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