Alts, Danko & Me

In my Works In Progress folder for my blogs, I have a file called, “Alts.” It’s a piece I’ve been thinking about writing for a long time. One of the things that has stopped me is the feeling that I would be obliged to say how many alts I have.

But a couple of my favorite bloggers have recently written about their alts. This piece started out as a reply to one of those blogs. (That happens to me a lot by the way.)

If someone questions my sanity for having four blogs as Danko (it will soon be five) or, as I recently revealed, 13 viewers, when I tell how many alts I have – or even how many I’ve killed off – that will surely be sticking a fork in myself. I have only told a couple of very close friends the number. They still are close friends, so maybe there is hope.

One can say, “But I never use them,” until he is blue in the face (not literally, I don’t have a blue alt). But I really don’t use them. “Then why do you have them,” becomes the question. Well…

There are a couple who were the “worker bees” at one time. They could take care of business without being interrupted. They are both retired as I don’t do that type of work any longer. There are several who were made to help start groups. There are a few who were created for the purpose of story on my RP blog.

But mainly, it is simply a writer’s weakness. I come up with a good name for an avatar (or a group) and I have to create it. It is a form of roleplay or writing in itself. I do flesh out their profile, take a profile pic, put them in groups, add places to their picks, some even have a 1st life description. I am creating characters. But I don’t take them out. I am the writer, not the actor.

I never bothered with clothes and such. They each have one suit of clothes. I never spent any money on skins, hair, etc – until last year. I had always gone with freebie or cheapie stuff. But last year I upgraded all of the older ones to more modern SL creations, spent money on them for the first time. And I think that is what has caused me to slow down substantially in their creation. They are too damn expensive for something that never gets used. I’ve pretty much bought up all the decent male avatar skins and hair anyway.

And now in visiting numerous virtual worlds, I have had to create many Dankos. And in some worlds an alt as well, to form a group. I hate that requirement by the way. I really don’t want to have alts in these other worlds. I just want to have Danko.

The other bloggers have written recently that they don’t feel “themselves” as their alts. I relate to that. I do feel I am me, Danko Whitfield, when I am in other worlds however. Even though I don’t look the same as I do in SL. I wish I could. But I do act the same. But not as my alts. They are other people I can move around. They are not me.

Danko is me, the real me in so many ways. He is me online/inworld. People can say that we don’t reveal our true selves inworld. It is true in a way. In other ways we reveal our true selves to a degree we do not in “real life.”

I do chuckle at those who say they don’t RP in SL. They believe what they are saying is true. Of course they are saying it in the most literal way. As is more than obvious to any thinking person – all SL is RP. But then, the so-called real me in Real Life doesn’t show all his sides to everyone either. Is RL all RP too? I feel a Shakespeare quote coming on, don’t you? You do, k, then I can skip it.

Back to alts then…

For those who have an alt they use to get away from it all, to hide…that is how I use mine. I just get to use a different one every time I feel that way.

There, got through that without having to reveal the number. Maybe another time.

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About Danko Whitfield

writer, explorer of virtual worlds. semi-retired time traveler.
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7 Responses to Alts, Danko & Me

  1. Maia says:

    Very interesting reading. This is the first time I’ve come across someone using alts like I do, but I go one step further. I do feel me in my alts too, not in everyone of course. I have some alts that only works as accessories that I really never played, but I also have quite a few that I play. I know that there used to be quite a bit discussion in SL about alts. That those had no legitimate use. That they were only used as a way to cheat on your SL partner. I know that people used them for that purpose, but most probably don’t.

    I don’t tell everyone about my alts, but I always do if I happen to bump into one of my friends using one of my alts. I love to find a nice name for them, like you do, but I also try to dress them up, take snapshots of them. I used to have several alts in SL that I’ve brought to my private grid. No use to create them in another grid, but it feels nice to have “brought them home” LOL. I never killed off an alt since I like them all, but I renamed one of the alts when I brought her from SL.

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  2. Talla Adam says:

    Over the years I have made quite a lot of alts. I don’t see any problem with that since I don’t use my alts to hoodwink online lovers simply because I don’t court them outside of a good role play storyline where both sides should know the score. And role play is my main reason for having alts although I have created worker/test alts and different names for my blog and other social media. I don’t see any problem with that so long as it is done for honest reasons and not to cheat or hurt people.

    I said more at on this subject at G+ Opensim Virtual and touch on the adult side of alts & role play…

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  3. I wrote a post about alts back in 2008 as a part of a mix-and-match among several SL Bloggers (fun event). It was the theme it was given to me. Here it is if you like to have a look http://wildstarbeaumont.blogspot.com/2008/12/my-mixn-match-assignment-alts-in-second.html

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  4. I LOVE alts! In SL along the five years I am in there I created SEVEN (including Leora). In OS I want to be and stay Leora (just like you said) looking as much the same as possible but have created about a dozend Leoras by now in different grids. But even there I sometimes am accompanied by my alts, especially my male alt comes in handy from time to time. In a Gorean Sim we are three of us, me (a free woman), my brother and our slave. So my brother can see to it that we both women are protected *ggg*

    But what I like most is “making” people. I (the woman at the keyboard) see them all as my children and Leora as the eldest sister who keeps watch over the younger ones. But they are ALL properly dressed and equipped (though I LOVE to use freebies for that) and they have proper profiles aswell, all different charakters! And the proud mother sees to it that they all are walked around alternately so that none of them feels neglected. Though I must confess I love Leora the most. SHE is the representative of the “real me” more that the others.
    Here are some of their profile photos …http://leorajacobus.weebly.com/my-alts.html

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  5. I also have multiple alts, often for several reasons. In fact, the identity that is now my “main” (Daniel Hoffman) began as a roleplaying alt, because my main on SL at the time (Nzati Kytori) had become my building and Marketplace identity and had become well known enough in that context that whenever I logged on, I had customer service things to deal with. And prior to that, I had several alts because I came onto SL to roleplay and was too dumb at first to figure out… Just put on a titler! (Of course, now, you can change your name weekly, but then you could not). And so I made an account for every character! DOH. Needless to say, most of those are totally retired by now, and all their transferable inventory has been moved to Nzati or Daniel. And like you, Daniel has been recreated in multiple worlds–Kitely, OSGrid, Metro, etc., so that I have a consistent identity in Open Sim environments. Anyway, just my two cents on the alt thing.

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  6. Hello and thank you to the Commenters above. All very interesting (and I read your piece from the link, Wildstar. Very nice!) It seems we all have a different approach and reasons for alts…and yet what I found most striking is our similarities in using alts.

    I could never use an alt to go behind someone’s back in any way. It’s just not me. And I shy away from talking most of the time as an alt. I feel like I don’t want to make a friend and then disappear on them for months because this alt won’t be back. I usually use them to hide – to get away from IMs and such. I go somewhere peaceful usually, where no one is around. But I have gone to busy pubs a few times. But I just sit at the bar and talk only if spoken to, no dancing.

    And yes, I have ventured into places that an upstanding citizen of the 19th-century and an Ambassador for a nation of a slightly earlier time, would never wish to be seen! Sure, there are all kinds of explorations. 🙂 But I’m just looking, just curious. I behave, even though as an alt I don’t have to. But it’s still me in there, so I have to. LOL

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  7. Avia Bonne says:

    okay, late reply, but this I what I think of creating alts/avatars etc. and why people discuss the fact that an avatart can be a totally different character than the person in RL. Because what I think is an avatar made by a person is always a mirror of the RL person himself. Because, it is created in the mind of that person. And they will choose always those characters they are commited too. So therefore I don’t agree people are totally different in a RP or VW then they are in RL, They will always choose the style which they prefer/like, and therefore it is part of themselves. You can’t hide yourself in VW’s, really, that’s called imagination 😉

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