Dressing the Part in Zwinky World11 July 2008
If I might stay in the fashion and gender vein . . .
One of the more popular activities for online youth involves the creation of avatars, that is, animated icons representing oneself. Zwinky, a software program designed for the very thing, helps people generate anime-inspired personae. It seems to be especially popular with girls, who can try out all sorts of outfits on their cyberselves, though Zwinky offers a range of male templates.
The male figures appear more normal. Normal, that is, if one means lean and muscular with smaller heads and piercing eyes. The men are also encouraged to dress themselves up in various fashions, though I noticed that their wardrobes tend to be limited compared to the women. With the exception of pimp-wear (gaudy necklaces, pink suits, etc.), the men had relatively standard, casual fare from which to choose, stuff you’d expect to find at a skate park or frat party. I did find, however, certain male users who had gone towards a bobblehead look.