Sunday, March 9, 2014

My New Life In Second Life

So, after class ended last Thursday, I decided to make an account on Second Life. After hours and hours of trying to figure out how clothes work, I was finally able to create an avatar to my liking.


Under the username, "SnowMoonHowl," I roamed around the different worlds that this world had to offer. After a couple of minutes of playing, I have not only realized how strange this world is, but how much it tries to blend in with the "real" world. For example: How much an avatar can represent the user.

Yes, I do not dress and look like my avatar, but it is what I felt was right for me. The rest of the avatars had wings, and weird clothing that you wouldn't normally see in our own society. Many of the women also just walked around naked or barely dressed. And yet, in games like this, it becomes the norm instantly before our eyes. Walking in the game, no one questioned my clothing or why I wanted to wear it, they just told me I looked great and went off with the rest of their daily second lives.

Another interesting thing is where you might be able to go. This place has so many sub places that you can visit, depending on what you are into. I visited a club, out of curiosity, and all I saw were avatars dancing with each other on the dance floor. Which just made me think about the fact that each of those avatars, is just another person on their computer, WATCHING all the fun, instead of going out and experiencing it themselves. I also learned that even in the game world, the club scene isn't for me. Instead, I spend most of my time in Wonderland, sitting on a bottle of 'Shrink Me', thinking, while sitting in the "real" world, sitting on my computer, watching my avatar, and thinking. (Weird cycle)

The last thing I noticed is the social interaction. On my first hour in the game, another avatar approached me (I will not state his username out of respect). He just started talking to me and made it very clear that he had an interest to me. Something I still don't understand, due to the fact that it was obvious that neither of us looked liked out avatar. We talked a bit and he added me as a friend. After asking me more than once, I finally agreed to go with him to the beach (I guess the place he felt more comfortable being). There we sat and had one of the most interesting conversations ever. I will not say any specifics, but he just kept bringing the conversation back to sex and drinking. And all that time, I just kept wondering if he wasn't just some 8 year old kid or 40 year old woman, just bored at home.

All in all, Second Life has definitely made some sort of impact on me. It just gave me this weird comfort that can not be explained. Almost like it fills a hole that our world just can not fulfill. I will most likely keep playing and maybe find more weird adventures to post on to this blog. For now, I will try to juggle my first life and my second.

2 comments:

  1. I like the tension between thinking of SecondLife as less real than the real world (your avatar may or may not look like the REAL you) and thinking of it as MORE real than the real world (your avatar feels more like the real you than the real you does). The fact that someone prefers to have a conversation as her/his avatar-- or go to a cyber club and have her/his avatar dance there rather than going to a real club with her/his own body-- makes me think there is something about living as an avatar that feels MORE authentic to folks. In what ways does the REAL world limit your expression or require a performance that feels scripted or forced? Besides physical dimensionality, what makes the real world more real than SecondLife? Cool questions!

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  2. "In what ways does the REAL world limit your expression or require a performance that feels scripted or forced? "

    The real world limits one expression in the sense that in the "real" world there are rules and laws that one must abide by. Now, I'm not entirely sure what SecondLife's regulations and such entail or whatever, but from what I've heard it is a very sexualized world. So much so, that you can walk up to another avatar and show private parts-- that can't happen in the real world.

    Also, in the "real" world, judgments and rumors spread like wild fire. Of course, who am I to say these same judgements don't apply to SecondLife simulation? But my thought is that it is easier to express yourself in a world that is not real. For example, the LGBT community could find it easier to communicate or express themselves in SecondLife than in real life. Or perhaps those uncomfortable with their own race or disability could find it easier to communicate or express themselves in a world that isn't real.

    If this is the case, though, then these people could look to SecondLife as more of a "real" life than they're actual real life. As suggested in Emily Hall's Farmville article, it is possible that we can abandon real life to live in the simulation.

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