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COMM 150 Week 3 Assignment Creating an Avatar Presence in Second Life

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COMM 150 Week 3 Assignment Creating an Avatar Presence in Second Life Purpose To assess your ability to: • Analyze a new external environment for perceptions and emotions. • Analyze a new external environment for language. • Describe the impact of language on gender and cultural issues. Overview Second Life is a 3D virtual world where users can socialize, customize an avatar, and connect with others. Find more Second Life details here! One of the first requirements for entering Second Life (SL) is to select an avatar. This assignment requires that you select how you will digitally represent yourself, what image you choose to project, and how you will identify yourselves with others in SL. Avatars can be altered in every aspect including gender, once acquired. Once you select an avatar shape, gender, and species, the discussion questions may help you reflect on your choices. Action Items 1. Begin working on the assignment which is due next week. 2. Create a Second Life account by selecting an avatar, choosing a username, and downloading the 3D software (less than five minutes). Click here for a Second Life Quickstart Guide. Note: A basic membership, which is sufficient for this assignment, is free. 3. View the Customizing Your Appearance tutorial within Second Life (SL). 4. Modify your avatar as you desire. 5. Create a two to three page paper that answers the following questions: a. How does your avatar’s appearance fit into norms established by the dominant culture? b. Discuss choices you made for your avatar that reflect your “real life” (RL) appearance. c. Does your avatar present an image you could/would not in RL? (For example, does your avatar have wings, a purple Mohawk, robotic legs?) Why did you choose to present this particular image? d. Does your avatar project an identity or personality characteristic that directly reflects your RL self-concept? (Provide specific examples.) e. How would your avatar look if you had to be the opposite gender? What choices might reflect your personality? f. Since the majority of avatars appear to be mid-twenties, what are the implications for misrepresentation of identity in SL? How might that influence your communication with others? 6. Your paper must include a screen shot of your avatar. Submission Instructions Submit this assignment using the Submit tool. In addition, bring a copy of your assignment to class. Grading Rubric • Content – relevance, accuracy, depth: 35 points • Effectiveness – writing style, appropriateness to purpose and audience, tone, flow/readability, clarity, organization, progression: 25 points • Note that points will be deducted for failing to meet the requirements of error-free mechanics and format criteria.

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