You would think that with a limited number of IMVU avatars, and items to wear and since some people even look like each other on purpose that it has to get boring or at least repetitious at some point. Yet some how it never does.
No two people are the same and no two chats are the same even if the situation seems similar. I think the variety of rooms and situations is part of that. It’s also interesting how if you continue to experiment with your looks regularly, over time your looks often match the inner you.
I like to use the line from Roger Rabbit, “I’m not really bad. I’m just drawn that way.” But in reality I’m the one that drew it that way. Well I came here to feel sexy so I’m not going to draw a middle aged housewife now am I? The point is have fun with it. Dressing up and shopping is half the fun.
It may be because girls care more about how they look or maybe because there are more sexy clothes for girls or they like shopping more (or all of the above) but girls change their looks all the time. Maybe it’s because they don’t like to shop much but a lot of guys seem to wear the same thing in the same room ALL the time.
It’s not like your clothes get dirty I know but there is an evolution process that comes from the daily tweaking and testing that a lot of guys or anyone that doesn’t change seem to miss out on. Besides it’s part of the fun. It’s also important to keep changing things to keep things interesting. There are always new exciting people waiting to meet you and if you don’t work at it even a good relationship will seem boring here pretty quick. It’s like living on the Vegas strip, you have to work hard to keep their attention.
When I look back at pictures just 8 months ago when I started the blog it feels so old. I thought I looked great at the time but I can barely even wear those outfits now. The more you change and play with things and associate with other attractive people to get and share ideas and things with, the more you keep improving things. And if you don’t change you don’t grow, which means if everyone else is growing and you’re not you’re getting old fast, at internet speed.
One other interesting thing I didn’t think of at first is that not changing could be a clue about someone’s real gender. It doesn’t prove anything and some people certainly can’t afford much which I totally understand. But it’s just something to keep in the back of your mind. This place is moving at warp speed and it takes some effort but it’s so much fun to be a part of it.
I’ve also been pondering the question of what makes imvu different than a chat program like Yahoo Chat or gchat. Before joining, I couldn’t tell you. It’s certainly not as ambitious as second life–I think that’s to its credit, since it is so much more accessible and prettier…
I think part of what makes imvu so magical is that the brain is wired for imagination… for simulation. MRI scans show that the same neurons that fire when we touch a hot stove, also fire when we see somebody else touch a hot stove (so-called mirror neurons). These neurons evolved in part because they provoide empathy but also to help us simulate the future so that we don’t have to touch the hot stove to know it will hurt. Other experiments show that people who are assigned an attractive avatar in second life act more confident, but more importantly, that confidence carries over even after they’ve logged out of the game. Even old psychological studies found that if you recorded phone conversations of person A talking to person B, and person A thought person B was prettier (due to a faked photograph), person B “sounded” more attractive, according to observers who weren’t aware of the photograph. Simple put, Avatars matter.
On a personal note, I find that avatars have a really big effect on me. A good guy friend of mine likes to use a girl avatar sometimes. I found I interact with him very differently when I see him as a girl. More simply, I love cuddle poses. I mean I REALLY love cuddle poses. I can literally feel my heart rate change when I’m in the arms of somebody I love. But maybe I’m just weird… but even if it is just me, there’s still the science.
Thank you Quidlyn (Katy) for such powerful insight.
I remember I spent the first month or two on imvu using the same default starter head, the same default avatar, the same starter eyes. And its amazing how attached I became to how I looked. In a weird way, it felt like me. And so it was hard to change. But I finally decided it was worth taking the time to really customize my avi’s appearance and stop looking like all the new Guest_ accounts out there. For the price of one new outfit you can really create a unique you. IMVU gives you an amazing amount of customizability–it’s especially evident when I’m with my friends in a club and we’re all wearing the same outfit, but each person’s personality still shines through and looks so different because of that customization.
It’s also better to do this early, since once you decide, you have to go through all your outfits to make them consistent.
The head is the most important choice as your head is what most identifies who you are when friends see you, and there are so many heads available. Also, if you want to try creating, derivable heads are surprisingly easy to resize and reshape using just the imvu client tools, and thus lets you create a head totally unique to you.
Also don’t forget little details like the eyes–eyes are the window to the soul and they make a surprisingly big difference in how you look. Also, especially easy to overlook is what imvu calls your avatar, which doesn’t change how you look but changes how you move–the subtle shifts you make when you are just standing or sitting around in a default pose. It sub-consciously communicates a lot about your personality and sense of style. Skin tone has a big effect on how your face looks, and the colors you can wear. What is also under appreciated is that it has a big effect on how big your breasts look for those who care about that kind of thing.
This message though is mostly aimed at the guys out there though. Most girls figure this out pretty soon, but of all the guys I know, even the smart, sweet, creative, sophicated ones who have been here forever, are pretty much ALL using the starter head, and thus they all look the same. Of course its someone’s words and hearts that matter most, but imvu is so powerful because it adds the visual component. Please guys, let’s add some individuality.
One of the most important lessons IMVU teaches you is that you can NOT judge a book by it’s cover. It’s as easy to change your whole outfit or even your entire body in here as it is to hug someone. The cutest girl can turn into the scariest vampire queen in the blink of in eye. It’s also all just virtual, so the pixels on the screen aren’t what ultimately matters. It’s the person and what’s in side that matters, more specifically their character and intellect.
Make your pixels as attractive and interesting as you can, but don’t be fooled by them. Learn to develop your IMVU vision and see into the heart of people. Because that’s one of the secrets that makes this place so special, the ability you develop to see past the pixels and connect directly into someone’s heart. That’s when you realize that the surface is virtual but the hearts underneath are real and can be very beautiful.
When you first get started in IMVU you think you’re attractive because of the outside. You work hard to come up with the right combination of pixels. But in reality those are still just pixels. And you can change them very easily. It’s kind of ironic in a sense if you think about it but what ultimately makes you attractive in here is actually the inside.
Let people get to know you as you get to know them and you’ll understand. The sexy outfits are nice but they are just a tool to show how you feel inside which is what counts. The unique ability to share your heart and soul without caring about the outside is the real magic of IMVU.
It’s just too cliched. Find another way to say it or bring it up, like that you imagine them wearing sexy lingerie. Don’t come out and ask someone what they’re wearing if you can avoid it.
Develop your own style and make your profile and pic unique and stand out but don’t make it so strange and exotic it could scare away people. I see some profiles and just wonder what they were thinking. Some people just seem to intentionally scare people away. Some people don’t seem to care and a lot just get ignored. It’s also helpful to keep changing and evolving things. Update your profile pic often and keep changing things about your looks and over time you’ll get better and better. Then when you look back at your older outfits you’ll wonder what in the world you were thinking.
Default clothes and profile pics are only for Newbies or Noobs. Get a small head, and a good skin too as soon as you can. Replace your default pic, and get at least one good outfit to start with. People will respect you more as you progress. It’s just pixels but making yourself more attractive will make it more fun and easier to meet people.