If you've read much of my blog at all, you know I love being tall and long-legged in SL. I'd be a giantess if I could, at least part of the time, and I'd make my legs several meters long if I could, at least part of the time.
So, have you ever wondered just what that mapping from "height" slider to height is? Armed with a device that will tell you your height, graciously given by my dear friend Cheyenne Palisades, I set out to determine the mapping. (*rolls eyes* As if it were difficult... Sorry for the phony suspense.)
Nearly as I can tell, for women at least it's
H(s) = .21s + 65 (in inches)
H(s) = .533s + 165 (in centimeters)
Now, I said to Cheyenne something like "Hey! I'll do some GIMPery and set up a split screen shot with my 'normal' SL self looking at myself at the average American woman's height of 5'4"!"
I will work on getting a split-screen shot set up, but strictly speaking, I can't do what I wanted to do, because if you're an American woman of average height, you cannot make your avatar look like you. You can't be that short in SL!
I have to think that LL has received complaints about this from those who are 5'4" or shorter and want avatars that resemble their RL selves. I wonder what the reasoning behind the height mapping is?
So, no wonder there's such height inflation in SL. I know when I was invited to initially fiddle with my appearance, there was no indication at all of what the height slider settings meant in absolute terms. It was just obvious that a larger slider value meant taller. Of course, I immediately went "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" and ran it to 100... but I bet that if people knew at the start what the setting meant, they'd change their behavior and moderate their height.
Immediate counterargument: if that were the case, wouldn't they be rushing to scale back the first time they ran across one of those height-reporting devices? I don't know. I'd think that by then you would have seen other people, and would tend to want to fit in.
It might make for an interesting study by someone who knows what he or she is doing... which, for this field at least, leaves me out. :)
[UPDATE: there appears to be more to the setting of height in SL than I thought; stay tuned for further results.]