Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Second Life. . . or why am I here?

You are asking yourself what is this woman talking about? A second life? It's true . . . but to really understand my second life, you need to experience Second Life.

I admit it, I am addicted. I'd like to blame Bobby and Amanda who first mentioned it. Or Rhiannon who got me to watch over her shoulder, but the truth is I am a sucker for a good storyline and the beauty of SL is that you can write your own story. It is role playing. It is the holodeck and the replicator (that's Trekker speak) all rolled into one. It is another reality and it is escapism.

So because it was almost summer and I had the time, I joined. Two years ago today. Next I needed money. Gotta buy clothes (don't want to look a total noob) and bling  from the designers and the scripters (because SL is also capitalism at its finest). The money here is called "Lindens," and one US real dollar is worth around 250L. So for about the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee I can have 1000 Lindens to play with in the Second Life world(s). Not bad. You don't have to really eat, or mow the grass, or do the dishes (unless you want to--just about anything can be put into gestures, a string of actions that your character or avatar can do). This includes virtual sex.  Best of all though is the dancing. Alone on a club floor, in the arms of a handsome avatar, even all by yourself in the moonlight. 

And then there is SL sex. Think about it.  No bugs to catch. You can say YES. Maybe get money for saying yes, maybe get presents, maybe just do it because you want to connect to a special someone. And you can say NO. And no one can force you. Don't like the guy who is coming on to you? Mute button. He follows you around? Delete him from of your friends list and he can't see you. Corners you? TP (teleport) out. Harrasses you? Report him to the PTB. All in all that adds up to the potential for a lot of fun, and no foul.

Beware, though, SL is addicting. Don't let SL occupy you so much that you forget that you have a Real Life (tm) too. And don't mix them or there is a big broken heart potential. Don't share RL info in SL with anyone you do not know VERY well. Don't be surprised when (if you share SL info with them) RL friends think you need therapy.

A good thing to keep in mind is that this is role playing. Your avatar (your SL body) is both you and not you. You can look anyway you want. In fact, most of the avatars look like gorgeous sexy 20 somethings. Never assume that how the avatar looks is the same as how the person looks in RL! Many of us do try to stick somewhat close to our ideal RL selves. I am, for instance, really an RL blonde, but in RL my eyes are more grey than green or blue. Some of us choose to be another gender, or another creature. I can be a smoke demon. Or a lust demon. In SL we can have any face and hair and body and clothes we want (or can afford). We can have wings, fur, feathers, elf ears, vampire teeth, horns, scales, or tails. I know of one fellow who lives most of his SL life as a Cheetah. I've met another who was a robot. And there is no way to tell what anyone's real age is. All of this is NP (no problem) if we don't lose control, if we don't forget which life is which.

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