Hello Avatar Kinect, Goodbye Real Life Social Skills

by Bradley Wint on January 11th 2011 at 1:55AM

Planning on throwing away your social life skills, then Avatar Kinect is the perfect tool for you.

I’m all for technology, but I think the Avatar Kinect is just another stepping stone in the eventual death of real life human interaction. The whole idea of this new addition is that the Kinect can recognize facial expressions such as smiles, grins, sad faces and more. This translates into a much more interactive Xbox Live Avatar character. Rather than just being a cool picture that looks like you, the figure takes a 3D form and has similar expressions to that on your face. Additionally, these characters can be inserted into various scenes such as on the dance floor, at a trailer park, in a living room and more. Wonderful idea! The technology behind it is obviously getting much better as time passes by.

My biggest problem with this is that users won’t have to leave their living rooms to pretend that they’re experiencing hanging out with friends at various hot spots. The socially challenged boy or girl who always spent his time locked away in his bedroom might actually feel more inclined to try out this new form of interaction, since they still can maintain privacy but are still able to pretend like they’re chatting with others. On the flip side, those who usually go out to the mall or the club may use this instead… maybe out of laziness or convenience. Facebook has pretty much proven how our social skills have gone down the drain. Rather than trying to meet someone at a bar or the mall, we can just send a message via Facebook to our crush.

The same applies for this. Rather than going out and actually interacting with others, users will just sit in the comfort of their homes and chat via the Internet. It’s a well known fact that the Internet’s privacy allows almost anyone to feel confident, because they can be who they want to be without exposing who they really are. Even I admit that the Internet has somewhat made me more expressive than I’d normally be in real life.

In my opinion, the Avatar Kinect will be a sure fire success in the social world, because it combines the ability to pretend that you are in a social situation with that level of privacy offered by the Internet boundaries. Sites like IMVU and vSide have done well, based on the concept of living in what I call a “Sims” world for people looking for love.

With all these new social networking options, there are more and more compelling reasons for people to stay home instead of getting out there and actually hanging out with one another. I am quite sure many of you may disagree that this is a social killer though.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mathew.britton Mathew James Britton

    might also be a good way for people without confidence or social skills to develop the skills and confidence to actually do it in real life. Its a doubled edged sword really.

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