Ready Player Me

by Guy Frum

Ready Player Me Revolutionizes Avatar Creation

There’s nothing like getting a new game, social media profile, or other site that allows for avatars and spending a good 15-45 minutes meticulously creating your own image for use when you interact with others. Maybe you want it to look exactly like you. Maybe you want you, but better - different haircut, taller, more muscular, different eye color, whatever. It’s a bit like painting a perfect piece of art, and it’s always something to be proud of, at least until the next time you want to craft your avatar for another game, platform, or app, and you have to start all over again.That’s where the forces of Ready Player Me come in. The app, a clever play on words from Ernest Cline’s 2011 smash-hit science fiction novel about a possible future completely immersive reality, is taking the ever-growing world of virtual reality (VR) apps and platforms by storm.The app allows you to create a custom 3D avatar by taking a photo of yourself using your computer webcam or smartphone camera. The app’s algorithms quickly digitize your face and then let you cut loose with different facial features, outfits, skin tones and hairstyles.

One Avatar Fits All

Of course there are lots of programs and apps that can create an avatar from your photo likeness. The differentiator for Ready Player Me is that it allows you to take your avatar with you among a number of different VR apps, including the social experiences Somnium Space and VRChat as well as tools like LIV and Animaze. You can also download the avatar as a .fbx standard file which lets you move it from device to device and drop it into different VR experiences that might not yet be part of Wolf3D’s partnerships.The developer rolled out the new platform in late July 2021.“With more than 260 games and apps already on board and growing at a 40% month over month rate, the Ready Player Me avatar platform and hub has the most all-encompassing access to the metaverse – the thousands of interconnected virtual worlds people visit daily to work, play and collaborate – available to gamers and developers today,” Wolf3D said in a press release.

Once you’ve got a login and password in the Ready Player Me system, you can use the “ENter the Hub” feature to access your profile, then select “Connect Avatar” to pull it into any associated VR environment. Timmu Toke, the CEO of Wolf3D, said in a Rovio podcast, “Games are becoming more social...that creates a bigger need for better representation of our identities in the virtual worlds.”The new custom avatar tech extends beyond games and social media, however. People can now accurately represent themselves in digital academic environments and even collaborative apps that pull together coworkers from across the world. Classroom environments like Mozilla Hubs are leading the charge to virtualize learning experiences that are on the cusp of redefining that industry’s online space.