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Testing out some avatars

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One maxim I've tried to follow regarding thecodezone.com is "don't do something if someone else is willing to do it for you for free". Now then you'd think that such a thing would be as obvious as "assume that zebras have stripes", but you'd be shocked at how many developers do stuff on their own with the assumption that their implementation will be superior to others.

So I have stuff processed elsewhere when possible. My Code Zone News Pod on the front page harvests its news from my blog, which itself is hosted on blogger. The bandwidth for the games is hosted on the Mochi site.

And I'd been thinking about avatars for quite a while. Since I wanted things to remain G-rated (which is why I don't have a discussion forum) on the site, I thought I might have some kind of "face-maker" app, ala that avatar-builder on the Nintendo Wii. While such a thing would probably be fun to write, it would also be a lot of work.

Enter gravatar.com, which is a free third-party avatar-hosting site. It's apparently been around for a bit, but it had bandwidth problems, most likely caused by the fact that there's no earthly way for them to possibly make any money off their service. But now Wordpress owns 'em, and I presume they have the deep pockets to keep the service running even if it doesn't make any money for 'em and doesn't have a possibility of doing so in the future (again, see Google's ownership of blogger/blogspot).

So I figured what the heck. I'll add avatars to the site. The avatars are associated with your email address, so as long as you use the same email for gravatar as you do for your Code Zone Games account, you'll have an avatar.

Also, your avatar must be rated G, which is something you set after you upload your picture. You can have multiple avatars if you just can't bear having something G-rated, but just be aware that thecodezone.com will only display avatars that are marked as G-rated.

And yes I realize there's a bit of an honor-system going on here. You could post a big picture of boobs and mark it as rated G. Please don't do that. I'm not a prude by any means, but I do pride myself that thecodezone.com is pretty safe for all ages (as evidenced by a pal who just set up an account for his four year-old daughter so she could play the launch-the-rockets-with-numbers-on-them game).

I also had the early concern of folks using foul language in their handles, but thus-far I haven't seen one in the tables, so hopefully you'll all be using the same decorum in your avatars.

Now then, I don't have it fully implemented. Thus-far it only shows up in the Stat O Matic page. If everything seems to work well there, I'll probably sneak avatars into the high score tables sometime next week.

Here's my stats page if you want to see what a working avatar looks like.
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