Home > Project Endless Possibilities, Virtual Identity > Project Endless Possibilities (24): Niamh (Atalanta Navarathna)

Project Endless Possibilities (24): Niamh (Atalanta Navarathna)

(Due to RL circumstances, there have been a small gap in the project entries but hopefully we’re back now. Today’s entry features a spunky cute little fae – meet Niamh, the 24th participant in the project. You can read more about the project as well as find the previous entries here.)

  • Does your avatar look like or represent your real life self?

First, my character’s name is Niamh. I RP (role play) with her in Terabithia, a medieval RP sim. RPing and shopping are the two main (exclusive) things I do in SL.

In terms of shape, she doesn’t really look like me. Not only is she way prettier and younger, she is also 4 feet tall and has wings (she’s a fae!). In terms of her face, she actually looks a bit like a client I once had who I had been particularly fond of, although it was not on purpose. I’m a counselor IRL, and I created the shape while this young woman was a client. I didn’t even realize I had made her face so much like my client’s at the time.

In terms of the avi as a whole, no, she dresses nothing like me. Or rather, I dress nothing like her; again, she is a fae. But in terms of personality, and spirit, she is definitely one facet of my personality that I have chosen to emphasize in my avi. I have a couple friends IRL who have compared me to a bird or a fairy. One calls me “Puck.”

  • Do you make significant changes to your avatar often?

Her overall look is always the same – big hair, lots of jewelry (on my profile, I state , ” Mission: How much stuff can Niamh attach to her body?”), flowery tattoos, wings.

  • Why have you chosen to have your avatar look like he/she/it does?

That is a very good question. I guess for many of the reasons described above. My last account played an elf (long story re: why I largely abandoned that account). I think it is largely about having a history of playing D&D, and having the opportunity to give shape to a D&D type character. Cute, fun, and funky are sort of the adjectives I think are leading principals. And she makes me smile. On my profile, I state ” My Advice: Have an Avi that you love! so that every time you look at him or her, you smile happily! In a world where so much goes wrong – having an avi that you adore – it’s awesome!”

I guess it’s also about being someone I literally could never be IRL – a fairy! I mean, how cool is that!!! And I don’t have to worry about dressing appropriately for my job, or what my friends or family, or even strangers think. It’s quite empowering, actually. And, everybody loves a cute short little fae.

  • Do you have a signature look?

Absolutely. She always wears her flowery tattoos, her Fae rings (demonstrating her rank), and her +1 AC leg-band (a Spellfire RP thing). She also has a particular set of jewelry that rarely changes, although I have tons of jewelry in my inventory, and continue to buy new jewelry. She wears: two necklaces, a set of fabulous earrings, the rings already mentioned, and a lip ring. Also a face tattoo that changes colors depending on her outfit. Ditto with eyelashes. One of the two necklaces has a color-change HUD. Her hair is always some type of big hair thing, and color also matches outfit.

  • Is it important to you how your avatar looks?

Most certainly. It’s important to me that when I see her, she makes me smile. Her look definitely reflects her personality. Particularly in an RP environment, the way one looks contributes to how characters interact. Niamh looks like a total sweet cutie pie. And – she would be happy to kill you just for fun.

I log into SL just to look at her sometimes (I mean, not literally, at least not consciously, but I do think that seeing her is a comfort and is just sort of nice).

  • Do you have some basics that you always wear (certain color of hair, eyes or …)?

Colorful flower tattoo, Spellfire meter, AC +1 leg band, Fae Puca Butterfly Ring (a fae rank thing), Wing Control HUD, Spell Fire HUD, Tir Nan Og Fae Translator (lets me speak in Fae in local chat – only someone else wearing it can understand) and the accompanying gesture, Fae Royal Guard Butterfly ring (another fae rank ring), my Quick Pose HUD, Ascky’s RP speaker and the accompanying gestures, a specific set of eyes, a specific shape, a specific AO.

The things that change are hair, skin, clothes, and jewelry (less often, but these others, above, never change).

  • What does it mean to you how other avatars look? Do you avoid talking to some avatars because of their appearance?

Ooh! Good question. Since I interact mostly in an RP setting, there’s the obvious factor that I will interact with another character based on their race, i.e. an orc, elf, fae, human, etc. In addition to that, some avi’s appear way more intimidating than others. And that can actually affect how I interact OOCly (OOC=Out Of Character) also, which is really sort of silly. I’m getting better at that though, i.e. about separating the avatar from the person behind it.

  • How has your perspective on your avatar and your thoughts about your appearance changed since you first joined Second Life?

Niamh started out wearing waaay skimpy clothes. But she gradually started to cover herself up a bit more. I think that once I had followed that fantasy of having a barely covered gorgeous body, I was like, “ok …… what else?” Also …. well, the other fae I found myself hanging out with (did I really just type that? Giggles. Yep, I hang out with fae in SL) tended to be more clothed, and that influenced me. Not so much from a peer pressure perspective, but from a “subculture” perspective. That probably makes no sense. Anyway.

  • Has Second Life influenced your Real Life in any way?

Hard question. I believe everything affects everything. However, to be more specific – yes, there are times I just need to do a “happy dance,” one of Niamh’s characteristic animations (usually if I’ve been drinking :P). She’s just …… so much fun. And she’s bold and confident (in general) and extraverted (I’m more introverted IRL).

  • How do you view your avatar? Is it just a tool to be able to navigate SL, is it an aspect of your persona, a virtual representation of you or maybe your best friend?

What I’ve already described should make the answer to that question clear, for the most part. To summarize, my avatar is a facet of myself that doesn’t really have a place to be expressed IRL, or at least my current RL existence.

(Photos by Niamh (Atalanta Navarathna.)

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