Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Please Vote For Avatar Rotation

The following came to me by way of Gentle Heron at Virtual Ability, Inc and I'm posting this note in whole. Please consider taking the time to vote on this important item. Thank you.

Several individuals and groups in Second Life are working on scripts that make it easier for people with disabilities to use this immersive environment. However, Linden Scripting Language has some inherent limitations that the scripter's, and those who use the scripts, must somehow overcome.

One of these is that LSL cannot easily change the direction that your avatar is facing--your "rotation". This was possible at one time, but it is no longer available.

Why is this important?

Someone who is Blind or Visually Impaired can check to see which way they are facing, but if they wish to face a particular direction, they must guess at how long to hold down the arrow keys. It is possible to set a "target" rotation that will notify you when you reach a particular facing, but it is still very easy to overshoot. So, the "simple" act of turning to face a doorway or to face someone with whom you are speaking may not be so simple for them.

Someone with motor impairment that affects fine motor control may likewise have difficulty turning. Imagine directing your avatar's facing by saying "Turn left" or "Turn right" instead of using your keyboard. This is just one example of how someone with motor impairment might use Second Life, of course.

Facing a specific direction in a smooth and realistic manner could be difficult in either case. If you know that Joe Avatar is at 47 degrees from your position, you could issue a command to "face 47 degrees" and your avatar would be "looking" at him. This makes social interaction smoother and more realistic, as well as making travel and interaction with objects in-world easier.

The desire to have Avatar Rotation returned to LSL is not limited to the Disability Community. Others have already begun this effort.

If you log in to this site with your SL Username and Password, you can vote for this issue. Voting does not compel Linden Lab to address our concerns in the way that we desire! However, they did create this site because they want user input. They do pay attention to these votes, and they tend to focus on those issues that receive the highest number of votes.

Please, consider adding your vote.

Thank you,

Talvin Muircastle

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