The Power of Words

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Yesterday Yummy wrote a blog post about the ‘return of the emote.’  I, for one, was heartened by the title.  As a blogger (and therefore, writer), I love the power of words.  Words have the power to transport you to another time and place, to make you see things you could never have imagined, and to provide a glimpse into the wonder of someone’s soul.

I am always urging my children to read.  My oldest is a bookworm, like Mom.  My youngest, well, let’s just say a trip to the dentist is preferable to actually opening a book. 😦

When I started dancing in Second Life, it was with a troupe that always emoted.  I’m pretty quick on my toes (tongue?) and I love a good double entendre.  This particular venue encouraged the audience to respond, as well as the troupe members to play off of each other during acts.  I loved it.  The audience paid more attention because they were talking (participating), rather than just sitting back and watching mindlessly.  The dancers paid more attention because everyone wanted to be the one who got the line out first.

I’ve danced many places in SL – some required emoting, some didn’t, some absolutely refused to allow emotes.  And I’m fine with all of that.  Everyone has their particular likes/dislikes.  Me, I love emoting – if it adds to a performance.  If you’re emoting simply because you have to, it usually doesn’t work well.  I’m not a fan of huge, long emotes that fill your screen – one or two lines is plenty for me, and I’m a fast reader!

But using emotes to enhance your performance?  Yes, please!  I don’t need you to describe what you’re doing – I have eyes and I can see your avatar dancing.  But words to describe how you feel?  Yes!  Words to describe your innermost thoughts and desires?  Yes!

I feel the same way about other things – lighting, particles, movers – use them to enhance your performance.  If you’re using any of these things (including emotes) just because you can, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.  Like any art form, you should master the basics first.  Learn to do tight choreography – spend time making that transition better, instead of hiding it with a particle effect.  Once you can make a performance without all the bells and whistles, then you’ll have a much clearer idea of where those bells and whistles would make sense to enhance your performance.

One last note (because I’m an English teacher and it’s part of the code I signed 😛 ) – please, please, please – spell check and grammar check your work.  You can’t throw that book over their, and you’re welcome, not your welcome.


2 thoughts on “The Power of Words

  1. I have somewhat schizophrenic attitude towards emoting… As you wrote, when it adds something to the act, it can be so great. And I admit, many of my numbers wouldn’t make much sense without the emotes. However, I rarely read emotes when I go see others’ shows. I only read them if I feel they’re essential to the number. And (sorry to say) most times they’re not. Most seem to only describe their moves or strips, just like you wrote. And I know I’ve been guilty of that as well. Although I’m a writer in RL I absolutely hate writing emotes. They’re always the last bit I do when I’m creating an act. It only takes an hour or two to tackle them, but I always keep putting it off. I wonder if it’s because English isn’t my first language and I’m always feeling like an underdog when it comes to emoting… Having said all that, I couldn’t think of doing a number without emotes, it would feel like it’s missing something essential.

    1. Some people just don’t express themselves well in writing, and I’ve seen a lot of wince-worthy emotes in my time. Most of the time, emotes work best when the dance, for whatever reason, just isn’t able to show the whole story. And a lot of people find it difficult to emotes thoughts, feelings, etc., without ‘god-modding’ reactions from other people. It’s a definite skill, and one that most people (sadly) have no interest in learning.

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