Thursday, 29 September 2011

Like a Second Skin

"Try before you buy". We've all heard that phrase before - heck, my high school form tutor, a Christian woman in her fifties who tucked tissue up the capped sleeves of her floral print dresses, even suggested that such was a good policy to adopt with regards to sex before marriage - but within SL, it takes on a whole new meaning. 

You walk into a shop and you see something you like. Like this, for example. It's a wonderful hairstyle created by Wasabi Pills, "Up in the Hair". It comes in a whole bunch of different colours, and you can change the colour of the balloons to match your dress. When I saw it, I got a little bit too excited, and thought it was wonderful.

So then came the all-important question. As great as it looks there...will it suit my avatar? I suspected that half of the fun of the style came from the expression on the girl's face - like someone had managed to sneak up on her and tie balloons in her hair. An unlikely story. But instead of hedging a bet and risking two-hundred and fifty Linden dollars (SL currency) on it, I picked up a demo.

That's right. I tried before I picking up a demo of the hairstyle, and putting it on my head. A note for thosewho do not use SL: demos are not meant to be perfect. If they were, people would not pay for anything, so the big box floating next to my head and the fact that I could only try it on in blonde or dark brown, as opposed to choosing from all of the colours in the screenshot with the ad, are the "imperfections" that make it not suitable for general use.

Now, whether you engage with SL or not...just stop and think about that for a moment. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could go to the hairdressers and say "I want to try out this style" - and then you could, without affecting your real hair? Just like that? I know that there are websites these days which allow you to upload a photo of your face and then try other photos of hair on over the top, but that is not the same. I have three-hundred and sixty degree access to my virtual head to check out the hair and see how it looks. 

And, as it turns out, I do think that half the fun of this style is the expression on the model's face, and...well. The balloons look slightly out of place in Laertes' sci-fi bar.

The idea of demos never gets old for me. Maybe I'm just a big child. I don't care!

I suggested to Sian yesterday that I was considering buying a porcelain doll-style skin for my avatar, and she suggested that we head over to LionSkin to pick up some demos. So we did and - of course - I have screenshots to prove it.

Creepy, huh?

I have no explanation for this one
If you want to see some more creepy mannequin skins, I have uploaded several screenies to my flickr - along with some other miscellaneous pictures I've been taking during roleplays with Salix and Sian. They're completely unrelated, but still pretty cool. Take a look!

What I find with demos, however, is that often I pick them up when I have no real intention of buying the item in the first place. Sian and I quickly decided in the LionSkins store that these were not the style I was after, but I took back a whole box of demos anyway, and spent a good twenty minutes or so just trying them on. I also proceeded to chase Salix around Sian's skybox (the room I was in for the above two screenies) pretending to be a zombie whilst wearing one of these skins. I had turned my animation override off, so that Kitti would stand still whilst I was trying to look at her, so when I began to chase Salix, I was doing the default duck waddle, and that just seemed to make me laugh all the more. 

I'm also a sucker for trying on hair at the Truth Hair store:

I seem to gravitate towards styles that make me look like Princess Leia.
 But you can get demos of almost anything! - including clothes and shoes.

What is the point of this post? I'm not sure. But demos are great fun...and one of those weird things you kind of take for granted within SL. The world can be your dressing up box. Can you imagine what the real world would be like if demos were possible?!

I know, I know. I need to get out more.


  1. Get out more!

    Seriously, demos of skins - which aren't cheap - are a good move, because frankly you never know how you're going to look... AS WE DISCOVERED...

  2. Aye, lol. It's an odd thing, though, really. We can look however we like. We can re-define what is "acceptable". But we still try stuff on, and we still say "oh, that doesn't suit me..." Heh. The revolutionaries that won't revolt?!

    Which reminds me. I should find my essay feedback sheet. My lecturer made a similar comment, and it could be a good talking point :)


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