So this is a bit of complaint that crosses my mind from time to time, and never more than after a month or so of the Menstuff hunt (and if you’re a male avatar and need free goodies, Click On Through to the page for the hunt hints and SLURLs, and hunt to your heart’s content for a blue sculpted T-shirt that says ‘Menstuff’ on the chest!).
See, people put a lot of impressive effort into what they make for Second Life. People crank out I dunno… shirts with terrific prints on them, say. Or really awesome long hair that’s rigged mesh. Or astonishingly realistic nails for sLink hands – fingernails that look so realistic you can’t believe it. This flow of creativity is awesome! People do some amazing stuff with rigged mesh hair (Wasabi Pills comes to mind), or with terrific-looking shirts (tee*fy did some lovely ones in the last round of The Arcade), or they do costumey bits that are reminiscent of everybody’s favorite book for kids, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ (Hi, AUX!)…
…and then they seem to forget, entirely, that people without tits may want to wear these articles. Note that I didn’t say ‘men’. There are kid avatars in Second Life too, after all! Rigged mesh hair that’s shaped in such a way as to ‘leave a space’ for the boobs? Levitates in this weird arch above a male av’s chest. Or above a kid av’s chest. Now going back to Wasabi Pills: the design team there is awesome about making sure that there are some things for boys available (and they label them with masculine names, like ‘Orion’ or ‘Erik’) as well as some things for girls and boys (like the hair I’ve been living in lately, which is named ‘Dylan’, a nicely androgynous name).
But what about the… T-shirt I saw with this gorgeous tribal print on it and a pair of C-cups sculpted into it? Sorry, Nath. Too much bother to put that same image on a mesh template I could buy for L$150, with shadows already available in a texture layer, and then sell it. Nope, boys don’t buy shirts. Boys don’t buy hair. Gonna do what brings me the bang for the buck and sell shirts for the women, they’re who shops after all!
So let’s talk about ‘bang for your buck’. Did you know that, in 2007, slightly more than 60% of the userbase of Second Life was male avatars? Don’t take my word for it, here’s a table of information from Linden Lab themselves.
Okay, so only women shop? Why is Menstuff one of the biggest groups in Second Life, then? There’s seriously over twenty thousand avatars who are not male but want to know about what men might wear? Are you seeing the gaping hole in the logic here?
Okay, but one has to do things that’re gender specific?
I’ll touch on that one in about 35 hours.
My point with this little jabbering was to make plain the assumptions people operate under about gender in SL, so that something that’s yet to come will have more impact and interest.