The first time I ever created an avatar of myself was over a decade ago and it was in Second Life. I was actually creating it for a work reason — someone I worked with at the time did charity work for missing persons within Second Life and I wanted to go look at what she had built. To do that, I had to have an avatar that looked like a person — there wasn’t really the avatar equivalent of the Twitter egg. I felt ridiculous constructing a version of myself that was basically a cartoon, not the least of which was because the basic female version started out with a midriff-baring tank top. I had to borrow Linden dollars, the currency in Second Life, to purchase an appropriate shirt.
Anyway, virtual reality has come a long way since then, and while still in early adopter phase, it certainly feels like we’re on the cusp of having not just legitimate but also (and I shudder to use this word) disruptive uses for virtual reality in the business world. Joel Rollins is super excited about one in particular, which is meetings. Videoconferencing didn’t exactly take the place of most business travel like some speculated it might — but it certainly does feel like the possibility is there for virtual reality conferencing. I’ll just hope my Facebook Spaces avatar has some decent wardrobe options.