I know no one is actually asking me what brought me back. (Heck, I know no one’s even reading this thing anymore.) But in retrospect, it’s tough to explain what’s actually drawn me back.

Of course, I never fully checked out; I still keep SL feeds in Google Reader, and am mostly up to date on what’s happening in-world and in in-world fashion (grammar?). In particular, I am enamoured — pure deep love, I say — of the styles put together by Nana Minuet and Dailyn Holfe’s Daily[n] News (both old and new sites are linked there), which I find extremely inspiring and drool-inducing. I can specifically cite Nana’s look in Vive9’s recent Ginta skin for making me log in and buy Lindens in June, just so that I too could be that cute. 🙂

Here’s a brief list of other things off the top of my head:

  • Oldbies. For some reason, many old friends who had mostly been away from SL have been dipping their toes back in lately (or maybe it’s just me being around enough to run into them again? 🙂 ). Maybe we’re all in a stage in life where we need old friends again? Or to have that personal connection we once felt in SL?
  • Outfits. This is silly, but I love the versatility and practicality of outfits in Viewer 2.x. I never had the discipline to make outfits before, and the few times I did, they’d always include some item that was No Copy, and then my inventory would slowly get out of whack, and I’d never recall where I’d put those damn shoes. You know. So now, on a lonely night when no one’s logged in, I will rummage through my inventory and pull together a complete outfit and shop around until I find the perfect accessories.
  • Better performance. Say what you will about the Viewer 2.x UI, which I’ve gradually grown accustomed to. In early versions, its performance on my two-year old iMac was hideous to say the least: 2-4 FPS, hideous load times for textures, freezes every 15-20 seconds or so… But recent releases have really stepped up the game, greatly improving performance and just generally being more stable. I alternate between Firestorm Beta and the official viewer, and am satisfied with the advances I’ve seen in SL’s technology coming from Linden Labs for the first time in forever (I wish I had the hardware to actually run shadows and DOF, but it’s not time to upgrade yet). They are truly giving us our money’s worth as residents, even if said residents remain as bitter as ever on the LL blog and similar fora. This is doubly so if said residents don’t actually PAY any money to play the damn thing…
  • Less voice. This one I can’t really explain, but it seems like fewer of my friends voice anymore in-world. Since I rarely can voice because of the hours I keep, I’d always felt a little left out and marginalized, but beyond that, I enjoy the chance that text gives me to craft what I’m going to say, and sound a little smarter, or a little wittier, than I would if it were just the first thing that came off the top of my head.

In all honesty, for the first time in a long while, I have fun every single time I log into SL. I hear my old voice, I can enjoy being silly, I’ve met new people… so for the moment, SL is really working for me.

Here’s to having that continue to be the case for a while.