Posts tagged “imvu scientist

Dispatches from an IMVU Scientist: Making RL better!

prof-kaitWe often worry about not letting imvu interfere with rl but a good friend of mine thought imvu helped her do better with her rl relationships by making her more open and communicative. How true! Here are some ways recently that I thought about on a recent trip to the Carribean:

1) Communication is key – to everything… Too often we hide what we really mean, sometimes to protect the other person’s feelings. But at least in my book, more communication is always better.

island2) Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want…. I have this problem that I don’t like asking for things. I don’t want to impose. I think of that Mel Gibson movie, What Women Want, where it takes a man getting magical powers (from a toaster of all places) to read women’s thoughts, to make them happy because girls often don’t say. So like #1, communicate. (I’m embarrassed to admit what I learned to ask for that made me think of this. But feel free to ask. It was totally only something that I got used to asking for on imvu before I was able to ask for it in rl.)

3) Be sexually adventurous. Imvu gives you so many ways to push boundaries. Explore in a safe environment. Last month, in our little island trip, we had a little bungalow, with a private pool on the deck (basically a glorified bath tub but still), it was hidden by trees but still public and I did things I would never have imagined myself doing just a couple years ago.

sz-swt4) Be aware of other’s feelings, validate them before stating your own– I mean, this is not just an imvu thing. A friend of mine who has been separated from her husband for like 4 years but still trying to make things work, said that was the biggest thing she learned from counseling. That in a fight, before you make your own point, its important to validate the feelings of the other person. That was the best piece of advice I got from my brother’s ex-‘s mother who was a life coach years ago, but imvu has given me lots of practice. In a fight, we worry so much about our own point of view, because we just want to be heard. So one good way to calm the tension is to make sure the other person knows they are heard. Tell them you get it. That’s usually all any of us want.


Dispatches from the imvu scientist on Body Language

I’ve been thinking about imvu versus other ways to talk to people online for a  while. One of many things that can make imvu special… Body Language. A lot of how we perceive and interact with the world around us depends on our bodies. In fancy social psychology terms, we have “embodied intelligence.”

bl7A lot of recent experiments have shown the importance of body language. That we use cues from someone’s posture to detect their emotion more than their face. That we can make robots feel alive by giving them body language. That talking to someone on the phone when you just have a photograph of them versus no photograph or someone elses photograph leads to a very different conversation and experience. That just adopting strong body language before an interview makes you more confident and more likely to get the job. That the size and shape and even temperature of the room you meet someone in affects how you perceive that person.I think part of what makes imvu so powerful is that even though it only does this in little ways, they make a big difference.

1) Most obviously is just the items you buy, the clothes you wear, the skin, the face. All of this conveys a lot about you. Something people don’t think about as much is the Avatar you choose, which determines how you stand, how you sit. I think all of that conveys so much, often sub-consciously, about who you are.bl2

2) The dots you click on also matter a lot. There is choice. Little things, but how close you sit, standing versus sitting, cuddling, walking, the type of cuddle, all make a difference in the conversation.

3) Emotes. I think I use emotes a lot. Like a lot alot. Maybe too much. Like  ~smiles~ ~giggles~ ~laughs~ ~shrugs~ ~sighs~. Dunno. Pay attention to your body. It does all sorts of little things when you’re not thinking about it. Type it sometimes. I think sometimes gestures say a lot. Imvu encourages this a bit by animating things when you start a line with them: (e.g. here’s a list I found over the years: tired kiss bad good flip zzz score jump leap crazy who what when how sleep yes no nod ooo clap oooh mad ii yay ok loco hm hiya ooooo ag hiya k mad bd smile :) :P grr z  hmm choke ;) wink sexy)

bl64) Mirroring. A lot of social science has shown that when two people are in sync, their body language tends to start to mirror each other. The same has been shown for words. Two people in sync with each other start using the same words, phrases, styles. There are sites that compare how similar two people’s talking patterns are, to find out how in sync they are with each other.

Those are little things. But sometimes the most important body language is the kind you do with someone else, (not just the sexy times) but just being able to sit together, to dance, to hug, to hold, to cuddle, to place your hand casually on their arm, to run your fingers through their hair, those are the most powerful moments in this little world.


The Imvu Scientist on Virtual Reality and the Uncanny Valley

katy in Virtual RealityI like keeping an eye on imvu in the news. Sorta nice to know about the future of our home away from home. So it was neat to find this article about Facebook’s purchase of Occulus Rift, of using Virtual Reality, not to shoot people, but to connect just like imvu has been doing.

Here, imvu’s CEO talks about some of the secrets that has made imvu the most successful 3d chat platform out of a big field of competitors. It’s not the most realistic graphics, it’s taking advantage of something comic artists have known, that you can get powerful characters and express powerful emotions, with simpler avatars. Yes, maybe 2nd life had more realistic models, but everyone was SO ugly!

He mentioned one of my favorite comic books, “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud, a comic book about comic books. A friend of a friend recently gave a ted talk about what he learned as an animator watching Pixar’s animated lamp. Something doesn’t feel real and alive because of how it looks, but because of little things like how it moves which is one thing Imvu does so wonderfully.

It’s also great to see that imvu is excited about occulus rift as well because that means they might make imvu occulus compatible. If you haven’t heard, Occulus Rift has been all over the news, as the first VR goggles that really feels real, and with billions of dollars from facebook, it has a good chance of being a product soon.