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Linden Lab has just given us 16 brand new classic starter avatars for Second Life.
I’ve written about the starter avatars and some of the problems involved here; “The ongoing trouble with the new mesh avatars” and here; “An alternative to starter avatars”, also suggesting that they replaced and improved the old starter avatars in stead of those full mesh avatars.

Last year brand new full mesh avatars were released but many users (especially noobs) soon discovered that they looked nice but sadly were a bit static (no mouth opening when talking for instance) and it was very difficult to adjust them or  even change their clothes.
Full mesh avatars are something even advanced SL users sometimes have problems with so you can imagine that they didn’t make things easier for people new to our virtual world.
And of course making sure they feel at home asap is very important to keep them from leaving.

So these new avatars are the good old ‘system avatars’ we know and love (and hate) but with mesh attachments.
In a way, the best of both worlds…?

I think these new avatars look pretty good, especially the one in the 3 piece suit, even though he needs a haircut.
He is ready to start exploring 1920s Berlin, maybe I’ll even put a box with that outfit as a freebie at our teleport area.
Sadly none of the ladies have 1920s suitable clothes.
Seriously though, of course there are a lot of people who’ll find that a certain type or kind of avatar is missing from this selection.
The one thing I dislike about these new avatars is that they are all young and pretty.
I would have liked people a little older, a little fatter and perhaps a little uglier.
You know, like real life 🙂

Anyway, quite an improvement on the old system avatars, at least at first sight.
I haven’t tried them yet.
But it is a shame that after all these years apparantly it is still so difficult to create avatars that look good, are all mesh, are animated and not so complicated to modify or dress.
Something that seems so easy in games.

But I still think that it would be even better to allow new users to create and already personalise their avatars right there on the website before they even enter Second Life, letting them have some fun and giving them an avatar they’ve already started bonding and identifying with before they’ve even put virtual feet on the virtual ground.
I’ve written more about that idea here; “Starting your Second Life” and here; “Starting your Second Life is still not easy”.

You should be able to try out these new avatars now.

You can read the official Linden Lab announcement here; “New Classic Avatars are Now Available in Second Life!”.

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