In the virtual world of PlayStation Home, I'm the hottest thing around.
Over the weekend, I logged on and created an avatar that sort of looked like me: short black hair, T-shirt, jeans, sneakers. Nothing out of the ordinary -- so I thought.
When I finished making my avatar, I headed into Central Plaza where throngs of mostly male avatars were milling around, chatting and dancing. Wanting to bust a move myself, I left my avatar doing "The Robot" and went to the (real-life) kitchen to grab a snack.
But when I returned, I had some unusual encounters...
Still doing "The Robot," I had four male avatars dancing around me. One asked where I was from; others said, "hey baby!!!" and "i like your ***s" (censored by PlayStation, but you can guess what that meant). Another asked "will u marry me?" All this without me having said a word to anyone. I had also received three friend requests from players that were not immediately present.
And it didn't seem to be just me. While in the Central Plaza, I noticed another female avatar standing idly and surrounded by several male avatars. Though my own headset wasn't plugged in, I left the voice chat on and heard guys yelling at her and trying to get her attention with some lewd comments. The avatar had tanned skin and was wearing a tank-top and shorts. When the avatar returned from being idle, she ran away -- and the train of males oddly followed her for a few seconds.
Perhaps right now players are really getting into the social aspects of Home, but forgetting that these virtual representations are still real people, and that they might not be what their avatars represent.
For example, that pretty lady with the dark skin and striking red-and-black striped top? That could be Stephen Totilo.