I've been learning about SL with my pal Ignatius Onomatopoea who now has his own 'real world' blog called "In A Strange Land" where his avatar goes by the name "Joe Essid". Wait a minute...which is the avatar and which is the original?
I visited Ignatius' blog and posted a question about whether Baudrillard's death had been simulated...or if he had created an avatar in SL before he died, could/would it live on in cyberspace?
This reminds me of the 1998 Dennis Danvers novel Circuit of Heaven where the invention of a vast silicon storage location called "the bin" began a trend of people 'downloading' themselves (memories, personality) into the bin and then sending their bodies...by the trainload to the crematorium. And this digital mania is not far from some of the hopes & claims of the digital hypesters so ready to disparage and dump the body.
In the bin, life is clean, smooth, safe, sanitary and eternal....the bin replicates itself, so there are multiple copies of you out there...but eventually people begin to miss having a body, they long for the chaos of biology, the joys and pains of embodiment. Eventually the limits of the program become evident and the inhabitants of the bin miss the unlimited potentialities of the bodies they cremated.
Some miss embodiment so much that they choose to download into other people's bodies who are just coming into the bin! What would you call that?!
It wouldn't be exactly trans-gender...but I guess it could be! Trans...organism?