Bot Story:  Characters and Content

The real-life SkunkWks is a world I've created to experiment with objects, avatars, bots, and to showcase things I've created. And the story SkunkWks mirrors this. The real SkunkWks is currently very much a work in progress; I wish it were as far along as the SkunkWks of the story, technology limitations aside.

In real-life I cannot program worth a flip, but in this story my efforts are passable. In the story I create not only the bot scripts, but also some compiled helper programs to augment the bots. In real-life I've played around with bots only a little bit. In both real-life and the story I run a VR world hosting service with all the necessary services.

Character Sources and Disclaimer

Characters in the story are either: bots, tourists, or citizens. The names, personalities, and situations of the bots, tourists, and some citizens are complete fabrications on my part. However I do depict some of my online friends as fellow citizens in this story. When I do, I'll use some sort of thin disguise, such as slightly changing the name. The purpose of this is to keep total strangers from typing in a citizen name found in the story into their contact list and sending that citizen messages. So if you happen to see an exact match between a name in the story and a citizen name in real-life that is a coincidence and unintended. I also change the names of private worlds when they are not the world SkunkWks.

I may pull experiences, behaviors, appearance, etc. from a variety of sources, including general human nature, to create a composite character. When I do, only a small piece of that character will come from any one source. If you see a large part of yourself in one of my characters, and it is not obviously a personal tribute to you, then it is a coincidence. If I need a villain for my story, I'll make one up rather than embarrass someone I know.

The Avatars: Humans, Fur Persons, Animals, and Faeries

When I started picturing what bots in the real-life SkunkWks would be, I gravitated toward anthropomorphic animals. As I began creating this story, it was a mirror of what I wanted to see in the real-life SkunkWks, so I extended and expanded on the anthropomorphic theme. At the time I had not even heard the terms furs or furries. So I used the term fur persons. Other bots will be mythological creatures or maybe just an ordinary animal, but if I have another citizen character bring a bot into SkunkWks, it could be anything.

My human characters will for the most part wear human avatars, a notable exception being the tourists. In real-life SkunkWks, I'd pondered the dilemma of tourists, who upon entering SkunkWks had a choice of either a faceless white male avatar, or a faceless white female avatar—since upgraded, now they have sunburned faces. The ugliness of the avatars aside, they were white, and not everyone can relate to wearing pink skin. I then hit upon the idea of a humanimal, a blending of human and animal. With a humanimal I could give them animal skin colors and patterning. Thus, the concept of the cowboy and cowgirl were born. Currently, tourists cannot visit SkunkWks, as ActiveWorlds wants an extra $50 per year to enable this feature. When SkunkWks is ready to show to the public, I'll pay the added fee.

In the story there will be a few human characters who are either furry (and want a proper avatar) or are faerie. Also, I may explore both the furry and the humanimal genres as the story unfolds, after all this is virtuality and anything can happen.

Story Content

I would characterize the story, as PG or PG-13. There are no steamy sex scenes, a little of swearing, and minimal blood and gore. Although there will be some sensual parts and some scary parts. The written word is powerful, but the imagination much more so....