The Free Dictionary defines a handler as someone who “handles or deals with certain articles or commodities.” In 2009 I coined the phrase “avatar handler” to cover my responsibilities in developing and managing the 3-D graphical representation of myself in the virtual world of Second Life®. My goal in doing so was to keep my identity separate from that of my avatar. Since then, business colleagues and friends have asked me to help them set up their avatars and presence in that virtual environment so I’ve expanded my meaning of avatar handler to include managing the 3-D graphical representation of others in virtual environments.
After four years of researching the business and educational installations in immersive 3D environments, particularly that of Second Life®, my avatar has proven to be a valuable “commodity”. Having been an entrepreneur since childhood, I set my avatar up in business shortly after my introduction to the virtual world of Second Life. It is through her presence in that environment that she sells hair and fashion, and where I am using her to produce machinima for real life stories. To learn more about my Second Life®, please visit my virtual assistant Jewle Rae’s website at http://jewlerae.com.
BTW, just in case you think I might be a little crazy in pursuing my research and activities via this avenue, you might want to read the November 2013 Huffington Post article, 9 Ways Video Games Can Actually be Good for You. Three of the suggested ways video games may be making your life better are:
- Immersing oneself in video games can be good for brain functionality and vitality ~ German researchers concluded in 2013 that playing video games induces structural brain plasticity, serving as valid therapy for patients with mental disorders and diseases such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and Alzheimer’s.
- Playing video games can shape core components of human cognition and mental flexibility ~ British researchers in 2013 concluded training in action video games can increase the speed of perceptual processing. Such training would particularly benefit those individuals struggling with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), complications with normal aging, and traumatic brain injury.
- Playing video games can slow down the aging process ~ According to a 2013 study by the University of Iowa, playing games that titillate the brain may help slow the degree of mental decay associated with the natural aging process.
For the complete list, be sure to read the Huffington Post article and follow links to the research findings.