Interesting article today in BBC's weekly dot.life on wearable computers and their logical extension - smart make-up. Ian Pearson is quoted as saying, "If you are wearing smart make-up, where electronics are controlling the appearance, you don't want people hacking in and writing messages on your forehead." Certainly, this has fascinating implications for virtual worlds and gaming - you could become a wookie in the RW, without having to wear a suffocating costume, or spiderman (assuming any appropriate licenses were obtained depending on the outcome of the current litigation involving City of Heroes). However, Ian Pearson is right to worry about hacking. It is one thing to have your avatar in Second Life changed from a man to a woman against your will, but what if the change involves the appearance of your RL body? What if, like an adbot-riddled hijacked computer that keeps thowing pop-ups at you, you can't change the appearance of your body back to the way it was supposed to be? And what if the message on your forehead that Pearson refers to is 666? OK, getting back to less apocalyptic matters, it does raise the perfect illustration of the combination of player and avatar as a cyborg, which Hunter and Lastowka posited. Last year, when their article appeared, I was somewhat skeptical of the cyborg analogy in terms of current MMOG technology, given that the avatar doesn't actually exist except on a server, or in the imagination. However, the possibility of smart make-up certainly does seem to make it an analogy that could become based in reality. If smart-make up forms the basis of virtual worlds, then certainly the wearers of that make-up would be cyborgs living concurrently in the real world and in the virtual one.