It’s been a tough couple of months for me… tons of work, tons of real life demands on my time, tons of travel. I miss writing here, but I also realize that with so little time spent in SL, I have little to contribute to this discussion, which was always supposed to be about my second life.
So going from a full-time SLer (4+ hours a night) to a *really* part-time SLer (logging in a couple of times a week at most) practically cold-turkey has taught me an important lesson:
SL is a harsh mistress.
There *is* no such thing as part-time SL. If you can’t make the time commitment, you can’t keep the relationships which make SL so valuable. As a part-timer, your scope of options becomes more limited. You can’t get involved in long-term projects or relationships because you’re only in for a bit; you can’t keep up with the topics or the conversation, even. It’s tough to engage with people who are full-timers, because you can’t relate as well to the minutia of everyday life in SL anymore — the relationships, the events, the bugs, the (face it) drama.
So, in isolation, you wander around… explore, shop, hang around with old friends for a bit. And then you get bored, and log out. It becomes a vicious cycle.
I don’t know how to half-live my second life. I know the good things it’s done for me, and the wonderful people I love so much who are still there, but I also just can’t find the will to engage anymore on that same level as before. I miss that feeling, but I also know that moderation is good for me, in this case.
It’s a complicated time for me at the moment. My son is at his most precious age ever and I don’t want to miss that. The season is obviously demanding in terms of commitments and errands; and spending Christmas vacation essentially offline (no Internet for two weeks? I’m going to die.) means that the outlook for SL time isn’t going to improve soon.
I don’t know if it’s a self-reinforcing filter, but it seems like SL is going through a tidal change at the moment. Not necessarily among my friends, but it seems like a renewal is happening. Oldbies (omg I’m one of them) are leaving, or disengaging, or reducing their involvement. Friends have sold land they had for years, or closed their SL businesses. Maybe it’s a natural trend in SL, and I’m only just noticing it in my old age. Or maybe something’s changed, that has changed the value of SL for many people who formerly got a great deal more from it. (the constant stream of problems posted daily on the official Linden blog surely wouldn’t be a motivator for that, would it?)
I promised Bethy I wasn’t leaving, and especially not suddenly (her exact words were, “pulling a Bombi”. You know who you are out there, folks. 🙂 ), and I really don’t want to. But I need to resolve the dilemma of doing this on a part-time basis in a way that still has value to me and still feeds all that I used to get out of SL.
I’m not making threats; I’ve been accused of that before and it’s not my style. But this blog has always been an outlet for my feelings, and lately I’ve needed to be able to get these things off my chest. Things will play out as they must, and I’ll most likely still be around in some fashion, as there is too much water under the bridge to just let it go like that.
La cosa es que […] platíquenme ¿por qué les da tanto pudor mostrar sus perfectas skins en SL?
Digo e insisto, esas skins no tienen celulitis ni estrías ni cicatrices, lo hermoso de esas imperfecciones sólo está en RL, y si no me creen, pa’ los que están en el DF vayan a la exposición de Spencer Tunick y los casi 20mil encueratrices que anduvimos por allá en una fría mañana de mayo. ¡Ahí si pa’ que vean harta celulitis, estría, cicatriz, imperfección en su máximo esplendor! Nada de RaC ni Naughty, ahí éramos de todos colores, olores, tamaños, dimensiones, razas, credos e ideologías…despojándonos además de la ropa, de pudores y prejuicios…¿por qué en este mundo de SL no se puede?…Mi no comprender.
Al empezar a dejarle comentario, se volvió un post hecho y derecho (últimamente me ha estado pasando mucho eso…):
Anky nos reta que porqué no somos capaces de encuerarnos libremente con nuestros perfectos cuerpos en SL. Para mi hay tres temas aquí, y todos difieren de los comentarios que hizo ella, o que dejaron en su blog:
1. Porque me identifico muchísimo con mi avi. Aunque a lo mejor esté mal, yo no hago gran distinción entre la que soy en RL, y la que soy en SL. Mi forma de comportarse es igual; si pudiera, en RL me vestiría como me visto en SL (uy, si los lindens fueran dólares, olvídate! 🙂 ). Me identifico tanto con Aenea que tengo pudor por ella; mis modos en rl las traduzco directamente a ella. No puedo separarnos, y por eso no puedo hacer roleplay con Aenea, ni soy buena para tener un alt. Así como me ven, me leen y me oyen, así soy, entonces no me puedo portar de manera distinta cuando estoy vestida de Aenea que cuando estoy vestida de yo (osea, rl).
(Corrolaria chistosa: hb me comenta ayer que tenía rato de no ver a Aenea, que qué se había hecho. Así que le mostré esta foto del domingo:
… y me regañó, que eso no era la imagen que debiera proyectar Aenea… 🙂 Claro que este look fue una cosa momentánea, un sentimiento que me despertó el increíble pelo de Armidi, pero como quiera lo adoro por el comentario.)
2. Como mujer en SL, te atienes a las embestidas y el acoso de los hombres; si vestida relativamente conservadoramente me lo hacen, imagínate si me vieran encuerada. Para las que no estamos buscando ese tipo de atención, es super molesto tener que estar siempre buscando evitar ese tipo de situaciones. No se si sea ventaja, pero muchas veces intimido por mi forma de hablar (palabrotas! ironía!), y generalmente ando con amigos en lugar de ir a sims donde me van a hacer sentir incómoda, pero es algo que concientemente busco evitar de ser posible…
3. Una gran motivante para mi en SL es la moda y la ropa. Claro que me encanta mi skin, y trato de tener los skins más bonitos, pero son como para que el perchero esté lo mejor posible para que luzca el look total, no para estar viéndome en cueros… Es más, yo creo que me tardé como dos o tres meses antes de haber conocido el hmmhmm de mi skin de güera de Lovey Darling… 🙂 (a mi me dio un chorro de risa darme cuenta de eso 🙂 ) Obviamente este es el punto menos importante, pero es signficativo que tengo miles de ropa y miles de pelos, y no voy a dejar de usarlos para andar en cueros.
Entonces por como me identifico con Aenea, el encuerarme para mi tiene un signficado especial, igual que lo tiene en RL. Llámalo pudor o algo más, pero es compartir una parte de mi, porque no puedo separar lo sensual de los pixeles. Esos pixeles engloban también el 100% de mi conciencia en ese momento que vivo de mi segunda vida, y lo que hacen esos pixeles es representación fidedigna de lo que siento y percibo en cada instante. Aenea no es muñeca, aunque lo parezca.
O como decía famosamente la Jessica Rabbit, “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way.”
I got this email today:
Dear Aenea Nori,
We hope you’re enjoying your Second Life. This is a reminder that your Second Life Premium Annual Plan will be renewed on October 23, 2007, at which time you’ll be charged $72.00(USD). You don’t need to do anything; renewal and billing are automatic.
To review or modify your account details, or to change or cancel your Membership Plan, visit https://secondlife.com/account.
Linden Lab and the Second Life Team
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. Yes, I love Second Life. But my initial motivation for becoming a Premium account was the First Land offer. That was my first and last relationship with the Mainland, tyvm, and I made a tidy profit on that little transaction at the time (gracias Nadir!!). Since then, my tier has been donated to the Bluffs to support the upkeep of ZeroOne’s project. So in essence, I gain very little from the 512m tier associated with the account. I now own land in Pinswang from the Otherland Group with which I’m very happy, and for which I don’t need tier.
The other benefit of the Premium account is the stipend. While not as lucky as others (as the stipend rate has declined over time), I managed to lock in a L$500 stipend level when I signed up. So on a purely financial level, on the Lindex US$72 will buy me L$19,000, while in stipends I will receive L$26,000. This one’s a no-brainer, although my real linden burn rate is much higher than that
So it comes down to this: Do I plan to stay another whole year here? Can I imagine myself having spent another year of my life devoting so much time (~20-30 hours a week) to this game? Can I continue to spend that much time here faced with the increasing demands on my RL time (I thought toddlerhood would demand less of me than babyhood, but boy, was I wrong 😉 )
I read recently that the net result of seriously playing games like SL is that we *make* time for them, one way or another, even when we claim we have no free time available. So that means there must be some 500,000 sleep-deprived SL users who take time out of sleep in order to invest it in their second lives. (There are also always the cautionary articles about those who choose instead to take it out of work or out of their real lives… I’m looking at *you*, Wired Magazine.)
I guess I can afford the 72 bucks (plus what I’m paying monthly for Pinswang). I can’t really foresee what I’ll be doing in a year, but I know that I still love the people, experiences and skills that I have here. I know that I’m sacrificing real time for this — time for my son; for my husband; for exercise; time for me, even. I understand that I *will* go through phases (like now), where it’s more or less important to me, or where I take time for other activities, or where I just choose to sleep for a while to stave off the feeling of accumulated exhaustion.
But this has become my hobby, and many of my ancillary interests revolve around it. It tweaks the receptors in my brain that savor social interaction, that crave the mental challenge of learning and dominating something new, that frolic in the new experiences and that rejoice in a good conversation with interesting people. I don’t get these stimuli in RL nearly as often as I’d like, so at the moment, I see no suitable substitute for this addiction.
Seventy-two dollars is cheap in that sense. /me antes up again.
This was funny when I first got the message when I logged in, so I snapped a screenshot. I mean, I’d dealt with missing assets, and I thought it the epitome of irony that now I’d lose body parts — I mean, which parts can even be detached? 🙂 I realized that it was only that the bald I was wearing had “disappeared” from the database.
It wasn’t so funny when I later realized that I’d lost *all* of my shapes except the one I was wearing (my skirt shape). NONE of them were in the database, and I was in full panic mode, fearing I’d lose my avatar because of the random inventory loss I was experiencing. I’d also lost my various balds (I make a bald for each skin, as the bald controls the shape of the eyebrows, and each skin has different eyebrow positioning).
Over the next couple of hours, I worked to make a “backup” of the shape I was wearing, the only ways I could think of: I gave a copy to my sis Bethy and to my alt, and I copied down all my sliders to an offline text file, so in case it was necessary, I could recreate myself (I’d deal with the distortion of the skirt shape if and when necessary).
I started compiling a list of missing assets (I’d previously noticed missing clothing, hair and jewelry over the past couple of weeks) with asset UUIDs to send to Linden support, in the hope that there was some way of recovering them.
Before I was able to send the complaint, and after two hours of being a total mess, I tried one last time to put on my basic shape, and I didn’t get the dreaded error message. Most of my shapes had come back somehow. I was still missing a few balds, and all of the real assets I was missing (the hair and jewelry), but I’d recovered the items that were most important to me.
This is the first time I’ve ever had problems with the asset server. I’ve watched others complain about this particular issue in the blog and on the forums. I now know the distress this can cause. People who know me would say that I’m fairly level-headed and not given to bursts of emotion, but this had me on the verge of crying. Ana Lutetia has told me that she’s had similar temporary shape disappearance, too, and has felt the anxiety that this provokes.
My shape is a fundamental part of me; I don’t mess with it other than for minor adjustments (my Lovey skins required major shape-surgery to not have taco-sized lips).
Losing assets is losing money. It happens in rl just as it can happen in sl. I can always get more money, and I can re-purchase the assets I’ve lost. Oh well.
But losing my shape is akin to losing my identity, losing a part of myself. Yeah, I could mostly recreate it, but it would never be exactly ME again. *That* is distressing, and a much more powerful and painful sensation than I would’ve imagined it to be.
I hope this never happens to you, and I hope that LL can finally fix this problem which has been dogging them for months.
OK, I’ve been terrible about posting lately, between RL stress and SL not-much-is-happening-ism. So I’ll jot down a few things to feel productive at least and not squander what little goodwill I have left with you folks.
* I’m loving dailylit.com. Read public domain books on an installment plan via email. I finished Pride & Prejudice last night (which I’d never read before because I went to school in Mexico, tyvm). I get my fix everyday at 1:30, right before lunch, and head home all perky, romantic and Lizzy-like. Of course, I cheated, and read the last 75 installments (from Pemberley onward) in two days, by clicking on the “send next installment” link many many times. 🙂
* Real chat excerpt with Bethy from a few days ago. We were talking about hiphop a second before:
Aenea: i’d just like to say
Aenea: that Darcy is a twat.
Aenea: chap 18. pride & prejudice
Aenea: darcy is a twat.
Aenea: that, sis, was a non sequitur.
Beth: oh you’re reading it
Aenea: lol remember?
Beth: LOVE that story
Aenea: he reminds me a bit of Cat
Aenea: without the smarmy richness, of course.
Aenea: and i don’t mean that in like a three musketeers-bar sorta way.
* I am obviously NOW in love with Darcy. Gotta love a Victorian novel for that. 🙂
* I’ve not been much in SL lately, because I haven’t had much time for it, unfortunately. I’m excited though, because I own my first real plot of land now. Bombi sold me her half sim at Pinswang (I still owe you!), which I’m so in love with. Of course, first thing I did was autoreturn ALL the crap on it by accident (um including houses, skyboxes, trees too…). So in my tremendous noobiness, I beat Bombi.
Then Linden Lab disappeared my sim.
It’s back now.
* Having my own land reawakened my desire to build (nesting instinct, anyone?). So I’ve been on a texture, sculpty, learning kinda tear when I have time in-world, and when I’m not hanging out with the usual suspects.
* OMG, I normally don’t shop Artilleri, but i LOVE THIS COAT SOOOO MUCH. I was having a hard time getting into the fall fashion spirit, but I’ve been wearing this coat with different, new ETD hair every day for the last three days. They’ll have to strip it off of my cold, dead avatar.
* Trying to get committed to Twitter, but I have a hard time keeping track of it.
Random enough for ya? 🙂
“Know that although in the eternal scheme of things you are small, you are also unique and irreplaceable, as are all your fellow humans everywhere in the world.”
Canadian novelist and short story writer
(/me peeks out of lurking/super-busy-with-RL-work mode.)
Today’s New York Times has an interesting essay by John Tierney about the hypotheses of the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom.
Dr. Bostrom assumes that technological advances could produce a computer with more processing power than all the brains in the world, and that advanced humans, or “posthumans,” could run “ancestor simulations” of their evolutionary history by creating virtual worlds inhabited by virtual people with fully developed virtual nervous systems.
Dr. Bostrom doesn’t pretend to know which of these hypotheses is more likely, but he thinks none of them can be ruled out. “My gut feeling, and it’s nothing more than that,” he says, “is that there’s a 20 percent chance we’re living in a computer simulation.”
My gut feeling is that the odds are better than 20 percent, maybe better than even. I think it’s highly likely that civilization could endure to produce those supercomputers. And if owners of the computers were anything like the millions of people immersed in virtual worlds like Second Life, SimCity and World of Warcraft, they’d be running simulations just to get a chance to control history — or maybe give themselves virtual roles as Cleopatra or Napoleon.
It’s unsettling to think of the world being run by a futuristic computer geek, although we might at last dispose of that of classic theological question: How could God allow so much evil in the world? For the same reason there are plagues and earthquakes and battles in games like World of Warcraft [and drama in Second Life – Ed.]. Peace is boring, Dude.
A more practical question is how to behave in a computer simulation. Your first impulse might be to say nothing matters anymore because nothing’s real. But just because your neural circuits are made of silicon (or whatever posthumans would use in their computers) instead of carbon doesn’t mean your feelings are any less real.
Of course, it’s tough to guess what the designer would be like. He or she might have a body made of flesh or plastic, but the designer [of the simulation] might also be a virtual being living inside the computer of a still more advanced form of intelligence. There could be layer upon layer of simulations until you finally reached the architect of the first simulation — the Prime Designer, let’s call him or her (or it).
Then again, maybe the Prime Designer wouldn’t allow any of his or her creations to start simulating their own worlds. Once they got smart enough to do so, they’d presumably realize, by Dr. Bostrom’s logic, that they themselves were probably simulations. Would that ruin the fun for the Prime Designer?
If simulations stop once the simulated inhabitants understand what’s going on, then I really shouldn’t be spreading Dr. Bostrom’s ideas. But if you’re still around to read this, I guess the Prime Designer is reasonably tolerant, or maybe curious to see how we react once we start figuring out the situation.
Talk about recursivity.
I seem to recall a similar argument from a college Intro to Philosophy class, and I remember the interesting discussion we had on the topic in that seminar.
If this were the case, then we’re all living a simulated First Life. When I talk to Bethy, for instance, my First Life interacts with my simulated Second Life, since she is (voice notwithstanding) a product of the simulation that *I’m* running within my own simulated First Life. And in that sense, then the fact that Aenea lives and/or reacts differently in my Second Life than I would in my simulated First Life is startlingly silly.
My head hurts now. I hated philosophy class…
(/me ducks back into lurking/real-life-work-is-overwhelming-me mode. Miss you guys 🙂 )
I’ve been pondering the past few days over the secondary effects of this profound addiction I have. I had a RL event on Saturday with friends I hadn’t seen in several months. From the moment I arrived I was criticized for being antisocial and just not available to hang out anymore. I felt out of place, and since there were many people I didn’t know, I just sort of hovered the whole time, kind of waiting for my time to be up so I could go home and get comfortable (and hang out with “regular” people) in SL.
But to be honest, nothing could be further from the truth. How do I explain that far from being antisocial, I’ve actually become *ultrasocial*, but only in my Second Life? I have no problem meeting and talking to new people in SL, either. I just don’t feel like relating to RL people sometimes (more of the time than is probably healthy for me, I guess). I like the elegant shorthand of IM and the direct connections that I get in Second Life. I find my friends more interesting here, perhaps because they don’t come with the baggage of a RL (isn’t that the basis of many of the relationships in SL too?). Preconceived notions of how one should behave, what’s appropriate to say, proscribed humor — I get to do away with all of those in my second life. Just be true to yourself.
I live in a relatively ritualized society. We all have roles, and we’re expected to live within them. My friends, people who’ve known me for years, expect me to behave in a consistent fashion — no sudden breaks, no radical changes. At my age (and stage in life — motherhood, baby and whatnot), I’m expected to have settled down, to have settled into a routine, to play my roles and go through the right motions.
I hate being described or predictable. I hate fitting into a box. I profoundly dislike being normal and people expecting me to remain that way. I don’t want to conform. I need to grow, to change, to develop, to discover new sides of myself. I get bored so easily: with music, with situations, with work, with people and with myself; I *need* change to not go nuts.
I break out in second life (which I guess was the original point of the whole thing, wasn’t it), and get a lot of what I need. The velocity of the whole thing just suits me. I love that raging current of change that sweeps through second life, that keeps things vital and challenging and exciting. I am true to myself, because I made myself over again from scratch here.
I wonder if my issue is with RL people so much as being about the need to make significant changes in my life. Because me and only me is responsible for having gotten myself into this position; SL has shown me how much more I need to feel closer to complete.
P.S. – In the course of writing this bit of fluff, I read (ok, skimmed to read later) Extropia DaSilva’s amazing essay on Gwyn’s blog. Feeling petty now for this whiny post. I’ll publish anyway, and deal with my shame privately… lol
Following up on my last post, I guess I hadn’t thought this through fully. Chip and Karlita’s departure was sudden and a surprise last night, and set me on this train of thought.
But I’m losing or have lost several more friends from SL over the past months for any number of reasons that I didn’t highlight just because their departure was more gradual, and they deserve to be remembered as well. Although I understand that one can easily become disappointed in this second life, or that real life frequently will call us back, that doesn’t lessen the pain of losing people I’ve grown to care about when they do leave. SL goes on, and these losses are part of the evolution of that life as well as my first life.
I’m going to miss Anakin Gallacher, who’s been such an important part of my life this year, but I know that the journey on which he embarks now is going to be so good for him. Ani, I wish you the best of luck and happiness as you make your way; I know I want be the only one to miss the cloying sounds of your rendition of “Summertime”.
Flaming Moe embarks today on a *real* journey and a much-needed break from SL; hopefully he’ll decide to come back, so that I can get mileage out of my MoeHUD.
Bombi Zeluco is M.I.A., having taken an extended sudden leave of absence. I hope that someday she comes back, because her amazing spark made SL such an interesting and vivid place.
I also miss Christine Gallacher, whose departure dawned on me after weeks of absence; she had such spunk and knew music like no one’s business. I have her to thank for Amy Winehouse.
I’m sure there are others I’m missing, but looking back, even four losses this year seems so immense.
I thank all of you so much, wherever you are, for being my friends and for having enriched my life. I wish you the best in yours.
Before we begin, a warning: This will be all stream of consciousness. Lack of inspiration has affected my posting frequency, but I have so much on my mind that I would be posting here if I weren’t filtering myself. So let’s see what comes out.
Sometimes I feel like I’m playing this game all wrong. I drool over people who are creative and expressive in SL (and in RL for that matter), yet I only bring my creative urge to bear when I just get overwhelmed by my second life (that partially explains the delay between machinimas…). The intensity of the past few weeks has taken its toll on me, and I kind of feel that I’d rather not be in there, but rather out here trying to create. And when I’m trying to be creative out here, I feel such a rush that I wonder why I don’t do this more often.
My SL is just too full for my own good, I guess.
. . . . .
I’m learning Photoshop at a rapid pace, helped by finally being able to install CS3 that I bought several weeks ago, and have taken to editing most of the pics I take in SL now before posting to Flickr (yay!! another time sink). I find it oddly amusing that SL is almost an ideal environment to learn and apply PS skills — both for creating, and also for the number and diversity of pics that you can take and which you can edit to your heart’s content. I feel a bit guilty that I barely edit the huge number of pics I’ve taken of my son and I’ve never edited a minute of video we’ve taken of him, but I pour that much effort into making Aenea look good.
I also got Final Cut Express for editing videos; there are a few limitations in iMovie that have always driven me nuts, especially because I’ve done so much time-based and timing-critical editing in my music videos; I needed something more powerful to keep my cuts in time. This software is absolutely beautiful, but the learning curve is pretty steep. I like challenges, though.
Anyway, odds are I’ll finally finish a video I shot with Beth a month ago pretty soon…
. . . . .
I dreamt about SL last night, for the first time in a long time. I dreamt I was invited to an SL friend’s wedding in RL, and spent the whole dream with anxiety about meeting my SL friends in RL; in particular, I was quite obsessed with what I was going to wear (!). And once I was there, no one recognized me or even paid much attention to me at all, which drives me nuts. Let’s just say I’m not particularly well-rested this morning.
. . . . .
I’ve been exploring SL again lately, driven by random tp’s from the charming Catero Revolution. I’ve written and re-written the next sentence in this paragraph a whole bunch of times in my head, but for now, I think I’ll just filter it. 😉
. . . . .
I’m not good at stream of consciousness, I guess. This is all too nicely edited, spelled and punctuated (and filtered :/) to actually count as such.
At least I got off my butt and posted something.
Reflections on a year in SL
1. Man, that interface is tough: I spent my first weeks trying to make my avatar not look weird. While I figured out the shape controls very quickly (my current shape is the same one I made that first week, although as you can see in the pic, it took me a while to figure out the eyebrow arch controls were on the hair tab lol), understanding the concept of skins took a while longer. My first pic ever, taken at the incredible FuturePerfect (which has morphed into an estate of FuturePerfects now — I miss the old one :/) when I was three weeks old:
My greatest lesson or most practical knowledge would have to be having finally figured out the camera controls. I remember trying to shop flying from box to box, missing the box I wanted to see and trying to fly back again. Sooooo clumsy. I am the alt-click-camera queen now, tyvm.
It also took me weeks to figure out that I could take a snapshot, and I have to thank Willow Zander for that when she posted a snapshot tutorial to the late, lamented Pixel Pinup, my first SL blog addiction. Those were the easy days, when I could still be sure I’d read all the good stuff…
2. SL sucks when you’re lonely: For my first three months in SL, I’d say I pretty much spent time by myself, exploring, learning to build, or shopping, or with my first friend in SL, Joni Vargas; unfortunately she’s from Finland, which made syncing up difficult.
By September I was getting pretty bored with the whole thing, and was finding it pretty much pointless. To be honest, my natural shyness had crept over into my Second Life, and I’d never really found a way to meet people and make friends. I almost left SL in mid-September.
3. Building rawks!: What kept me in SL was learning to build. After a month spent slowly going through the tutorials at the Ivory Tower Library of Prims in Natoma, I finally felt I had a grasp on what I could do in SL. The satisfaction I felt from my first builds, or my first waterfall (fun with texture anim scripts) kept me going for a long while.
Learning to build, as well as the admiration for the incredible things I’d seen in my explorations throughout SL in the prior months (including my newfound love for the art of Starax), brought out a strong visual sense that had been dormant in me for a long time. I love to pick apart builds, to see the bits and pieces (“Edit linked parts” is your friend), and to admire the texturing.
I’ve continued to build, although with all my other activities I tend to not have much time for it anymore, and I’ve started to learn Photoshop in order to create textures. It’s also impacted in my RL photography (need material to play with in Photoshop), and rekindled a need to create visually that I’m sure will be with me the rest of my life.
4. Fashion rawks too: I get some of my biggest visual kicks from the amazing designers that work in SL. I love how their fashions make me look and I love the incredible talent on display from the designers. I like to open up the the garments in appearance mode and gaze longingly at the textures, looking at the shading that they use (I’ve told you before, I’m quite weird), and how they get seams to line up correctly. I’m truly in awe of designers who can do this so often and so well (in particular, Ginny Talamasca and her fellow designers’ talent and volume of output blows me away).
So when my friends bug me about shopping so much in SL, I’d like them to understand that I’m not really shopping — I’m patronizing the arts. 🙂
5. Friends rawk more!: And then I wasn’t lonely anymore. Somehow I hooked up with an awesome bunch of Mexicans, the Jocosos, and suddenly learned what SL was *really* about for *me*: Long conversations, late nights, tons of IM windows open all the time, gossip, togetherness, company, and laughing my butt off. Nadir, Bombi, Claudia, Bert, Anky and Gaafis made SL again for me, and made me/Aenea who I am today. I learned to love so much in here because of them that that’s why I’m always going on about hoping people learn to make those intense connections which truly make SL so worthwhile.
I also learned how SL moves through cycles; after three truly intense months, we all kind of moved on to other things. Couples got together and separated, people moved away and we all sort of moved on, and we just didn’t hang out as much together anymore. But the amazing thing is that I still almost always have an IM window open, devoted to my beloved Jocosos, who’ve grown to include more awesome people from the community at Reforma such as Helix, Allez, Chip, and Karlita.
6. Twins: An odd coincidental meeting changed my life. I was shopping at Soda when it had just opened back in October, camming around, as is my standard method of shopping. I got a bit disoriented, and then I saw myself at a distance. I tried to move myself, but my darn av wouldn’t respond! And even worse, for some reason I was already wearing one of the tshirts I had just bought at Soda (I *hate* the “Wear items now” checkbox in the buy confirmation dialog). So I escape out of cam mode and realize it *wasn’t* me, that I’d found my long lost twin, Bethany. We laughed about it, then chatted for almost an hour, and friended each other. We didn’t talk that often after that– I was just too caught up in the Jocoso phenomenon at the time, and Bethy had her own things going on — but when we did, there was always awesome chemistry…
And then we hooked up again at the end of January, at a time when we both needed each other. I was lonely again, and needed my next cycle to begin; Bethy was starting a new cycle in her life as well. So we finally got to hang out.
And I started to hang out with Idiots:
And this has all been a whirlwind now. My sister Bethy fills me with joy, makes me laugh and jump up and down, inspires me and teaches me. I like to think that I do some of that for her too, but I know that i’m getting the better end of the deal. 😉
7. Writing: This blog has been a labor of love. This is my 170th post in 217 days (thanks to multiple posts per day, because I know that past week’s silence hasn’t contributed to that statistic 😉 ), and I was fairly sure when I started that I wouldn’t make it past the first week. I originally wanted to just catalog all the things I was learning and reading on the many, many blogs in my reader, but then I found a voice, and an outlet.
But it’s not just the blog. SL has been conducive to learning how to write and express myself, as well. It’s honed my wit and sharpened my tongue, so to speak, and this is a new side of myself creatively that I never expected to find.
This blog has led to a great many things. I’ve always had something of a complex about the fact that I’m not one of the great creators in world, as much as I might like to be, and I’ve been glad to be able to make some machinimae that people have enjoyed. But this blog has an audience I never expected, and for whom I truly enjoy writing. My stats page is my top hit in my browser (and I’m seconds away from just setting it as my darn homepage).
My writing here has also led to attention from the media in Mexico as the Second Life phenomenon begins to take hold, which was quite unexpected. This reached its climax a month ago in a surprise that I’m saving for next month to post to this blog; that surprise will forever be a souvenir of this last year in SL for me.
. . . . .
Enough reminiscing… for now. I’m still in love with Second Life, more so than I was when I began, so I think it’s all good so far. I’m dreaming up projects to try and become a more productive member of society, but at the same time I know what’s important to me in my second life, and I don’t want to sacrifice that.
I’m celebrating my rezday this Friday jointly with Echo Seigo, Bethy’s partner in crime who coincidentally rezzed the same day as me — /me shouts HAPPY REZDAY, ECHO!! — at what is sure to be an amazing party where I hope to see so many of the people who made this last year so special for me.
Our party overlaps with Nadir’s rezday this Friday the 22nd — an amazing coincidence, when you think about it, which I was quite mortified over for several days there — so I will work up some energy to re-celebrate my rezday with him the next day.
Thank you, my friends. I love you guys. 🙂
I’ve been accused of having become a “blonde”, thereby losing all capacity for rational thought, and I need to refute the accusation. 🙂 This will be a short post, but it’s part of a larger internal discussion I’m going over in my head that I hope to develop over the next few weeks in additional posts.
Basically, I’m trying to imagine the business case for a RL business to come into SL. The obvious answer at present is simple marketing: capturing the PR exposure from getting into SL’s hype, and somehow offering something of value to SL’s residents.
But how do you create a more reasonable (read: longer term) value proposition for business? How can it be more than marketing? How do you leverage the hours that the average user spends in-world interacting with the environment? How can SL be a *tool*?
I’ve read interesting thoughts that are tangential to this discussion from Gwyn Llewelyn (there are many more where that came from 🙂 ) and from Hiro Pendragon (I especially like Hiro’s thoughts on “passive browsing” in SL — a brilliant idea for which there isn’t an easy metaphor).
I don’t have an answer yet; maybe no one does yet. It’s something I’m turning over a lot, and I’m sure many of those at the metaverse development companies in SL are as well.
I’ll keep bouncing this around, and post more ideas as they come to me.
I’m not caught up on my blog reading, so I totally missed the intrigue related to Cubesque. Apparently the Lindens organized a contest that gave clues to the new prim type that will soon be available to us in Second Life.
But with the (rather obtuse) announcement on the Linden blog, let me try and see if I understand what this means to us in-world.
Using one of the 3D modeling tools on the market (such as Maya, Blender, zBrush) you can now build a 3D object in a dedicated application, and then export the description of that object as a 64×64 RGB texture, where each color channel represents a given point’s location as an X, Y or Z coordinate. When applied to a more regular polygonal prim, this normal mapping as it’s known in the industry, allows you to render more complex surface details than actually exist on the polygonal (read: prim) structure of the object.
By loading this texture into SL, you should then be able to create a replica of the rendered 3D object in world.
Of course, I could be wholly wrong in how I’m describing this concept here, as it’s the condensation of *several whole minutes* of research on my part (please correct me in comments if I’m totally off-base here). But what my eyes tell me from looking at the image above is that much more complex objects, with more organic or natural shapes, will suddenly become available to us.
I was thinking today how many oldbies have a huge head start on us, because of the time they’ve had to gain expertise in the tools and/or which we use to make SL work well (for example, tortured prims for jewelry or detailed texturing using Photoshop). The addition of this new prim type means that there’s a new, open playing field for first movers to learn and dominate a new market; while existing 3D artists will surely have a lead, there’s definitely an opportunity for anyone with enough dedication to learn and stake a claim to this new, exciting technique.
Update: D’oh. Video always makes everything clearer. And I think it seems that my interpretation is correct. 🙂
The meme (#11 in the Not-A-Meme Challenge):
… for this not-a-meme challenge, I challenge you to reveal some of those secrets. Do confess! Which secrets, you say?
* A secret about your second life. Something you’ve kept hidden from the rest of us until now. Something only a few intimate Avie-friends, or maybe even no one knows about…
* A challenge for you to reveal a minor glimpse of what kind of person you are in first life.
While I have many secrets in both, I don’t particularly feel like sharing them in as open a forum as this. But after much thought, these are sufficiently inoffensive that I can contribute them to the world.
When I first came into SL, I explored most everything on the sordid side of this world. All the kinks, all the sex, all the deviations, and all the poseballs. I never found anything that made it worthwhile — it was so empty and meaningless.
So I said, “Meh.” I’ve been a prude ever since. (mostly 🙂 )
I’m as tightly wound up in RL as I am laid back in SL. So I guess that explains why I enjoy my second life so much.
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
writer and poet
So I was filling out a questionnaire for work today for something called the Birkman Method. The questionnaire first asks you 125 questions about your perception of “most people”. It then asks the same questions about your perception of yourself. It closes with 48 questions on job preferences. Yes, I’m looking for a new gig, tyvm. 🙂
No problem filling out the “most people” part.
But when I got to the perception of myself, I ran into an interesting problem (that coincidentally ties into Jacek’s recent Not-A-Meme challenge). I found a noticeable difference between how *I* (the physical person living behind Aenea) would answer truthfully and how Aenea would answer (truthfully, but also more idealistically).
For example, two simple True/False questions from the questionnaire:
I speak up when I see someone doing something wrong.
I tell people when they’ve hurt my feelings.
See, Aenea is very vocal — I like to get into it. 🙂 So if I see a friend doing something I’m not in agreement with, you can be sure that I’ll IM them about it. And I’m very direct when someone’s hurt my feelings; I hate drama, and swallowing those feelings can only lead to more drama. These reactions are extremely true to the way I am.
But in RL, I tend to hush up. I avoid confrontation, although I will offer my opinions if I’m asked, and people who are close to me know they’ve hurt my feelings because I get very quiet and withdrawn; otherwise, I think you’d never know. And then I swallow it and let it fester…
Obviously, the difference arises because Aenea is my ideal me (I would hope that for most of us, we are living some semblance of idealism in our second lives). I’ve touched on this many times before in this blog (I really should just make an Identity category to keep all those entries at hand 🙂 — done!).
So which is the right answer for this questionnaire? Both are me. Is my RL reaction more real/correct than what Aenea would answer? I know I’m capable of better reactions because of the way they play out in my second life.
Most of my serious interpersonal relationships over the last 6 months have been in here, and we can all attest to the velocity at which those relationships develop and evolve in SL. Why is there any less merit to the way I react on a day-to-day basis in SL than what I would do on the few occasions recently where the same situation has occurred in RL?
Of course, probably the right thing to say here is “get yourself together there, Aenea.” On something that relates to being true to myself, is there any reason *not* to go with what I’ve found feels right when I do it as Aenea? Why maintain those barriers, that distinction? I’ve talked so much about bringing the good things I learn as Aenea into rl; why’s it so hard to do? I mean, I’m Aenea for 4-6 hours a day, at least; her influence should at the very least rub off on me.
I get very excited about what I do
In RL, I’m generally pretty even-keeled; I don’t get overly excited or overly down about things. But in SL, I’m perky — all the time. I get excited by everything I do and everything my friends do. Is that so wrong? 🙂 I like being that way.
I guess I’m working through all this. There are no conclusions here, just realizations. But I can feel that the right stuff is inside of me; I just need to expose it to the light.
(If you thought that that was fluffy, it’s a good thing I couldn’t find the phrase from the Tao te Ching I was looking for… 🙂 )
To close, another question from the questionnaire:
I can get along with about five hours or less sleep each night
TRUE!!! Thank you SL!
This is cheating. It’s also poignant, for some reason. From the always-awesome XKCD:
I’ve felt that way *so* many times; opportunities come along once in a lifetime.
Coincidentally, Bethy introduced me to Kurt Halsey last night, and I fell in love and ache with the sentiment in his drawings. I love the juxtaposition of the cartoony images with the ache and suffering in his words. I especially loved “To Hold and To Be Held”, which expresses so many feelings for me that I’ll just stop now…
yeah, maybe I’m a bit mopey right now