Metaverse Artist, Grieving For Her Dead Husband, Recreates Him as an Avatar
First published in 2008, “The Husband That Eshi Made” is an essential New World Notes story of how the virtual world can connect us with people in the material realm, even long after they’re gone:
[M]emories of her late husband] wracked her in the grocery store, on the second anniversary of Glenn’s passing. Since then, Eshi had become a metaverse artist of some acclaim, creating a concert hall made of light, and an evening gown made of fire, among other wonders. Which is probably why her next stop after the store was her computer.
“I felt so powerless and alone,” as she recalls, “that I told myself, ‘You know, it might be a sick thing to do, a pathetic thing to do, whatever– but if I cannot have this guy in real life, I will MAKE him in Second Life.’”
His widow re-created him as best she could– rather, Eshi Otawara remade herself, transforming her avatar to look like her husband. And when she was done remaking him, she took Glenn on a tour through Second Life.
She took him skydiving in Straylight. She took him to Ruta Maya for a butterfly ride. “I get to do things with his pixel body that he’d be doing if he were alive,” as she puts it. She even gave him a flat belly, something she’d known he’d wanted for some time. “I am sure he was cracking up in whatever form he exists now,” she says.
I ask Eshi what it’s like to become the avatar version of Glenn.
“Like he is hugging me,” she says. “I miss his face most. I used to stare at him all the time.”
Read the rest here.