Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Second Life is Just That, Yet More..

Let me preface this by saying this: Second Life is a game. It is not a pixilated reality. It's fun (or supposed to be most days). It's entertainment. It's the moments when you figure out that you can box with your friend and knock them clean out of a skybox. It's the moments when a pillow fight sends you flying across a sim and lands your laughing butt in water so far away that you have to teleport back. It's the moments when you can ride in a hot air balloon over a beautifully designed sim and appreciate someone else's hard work and keen eye for detail. Those are the moments that make Second Life so much fun to me (oh hell, and the sales too!).

The thing I like best about Second Life is that it lacks the stress and responsibility that first life has. No work, no "must" situations. I like the friends I've made. The different personalities and quirks everyone brings to the table. Much like my RL friends, there's a friend for everything (shopping, dancing, wandering, joking, drinking coffee and learning). Some friends have surprised me and become more like RL friends that I don't think I can pass a day without, while others have shocked me and become the ever popular covert frenemy (I've met my fair share in RL..don't like them, need them or want them - and don't think for a single moment that just because I haven't called you out about it that it means I don't KNOW what you are).

But at the end of the day, I'm excited for what each new day brings for me - both in RL and SL. I'm excited to try new flavors of cupcakes. Excited when I make it through a set of squats on a bosu ball without passing out. I'm excited when I buy a blender for the cabin and excited when I get the perfect SL picture for my profile. It's the little things that excite me in life and keep me happy.

So now, I'm inviting you to hang around in my Second Life and enjoy the little things too. But if you can't - if you absolutely cannot have fun and only want to be the center of attention/drama and misery - regardless of what you do to others..then don't. Don't accept my invitation. Find another party to crash (and burn).

Until next time.



Blogger said...

While there are a lot of games within Sl and even some people playing games, I don't exactly consider it a game.

It's certainly not a pixelated reality for any sane person.

I tend to view it as a communications medium, like Skype or perhaps a chat room with visual effects.

As with any communications medium, it can be abused. It can be as irritating as a cell phone in that you get dropped a lot! lol Sometimes open chat gets to be like CB channel 19 during the big CB craze.

But it can also be a place to explore what people have created or perhaps even explore yourself outside the rules of everyday life.

Unfortunately, it can be like heroin or alcohol to those with addictive personalities to the point that their real lives are negatively impacted, but they don't seem to care and won't let it go.

I've seen the best in people, as well as the worst. I've also seen things in me that have made me pause and wonder why I'd do things in SL that I wouldn't in RL. Some I have addressed; others I still need to...

One of the most liberating experiences was ridding myself of cancerous SL "friendships" - the "frenemies" that you talk about. I'd never put up with them for long in RL and will not any longer in SL.

I want to believe that peole are basically good, but it seems that if you put them in an environment such as SL, you see that is not at all the case. Hypocrites abound in SL... Of course, the sampling is my limited experiences in SL with people who obviously don't care for their RL's at all and use lies simply as a manipulation tool.

I've been thrilled to make what I'd call actual friends with some good people on SL and would even consider a few to be like RL friends, although we'll never meet in RL. Relationships built on a foundation of trust, honesty and sincerety. No games.. no secrets.. no manipulations... just good friends to spend some time communicating with electronically. That's my SL now, and I love it! :)

Bliss said...

And I thought *I* left long replies..LOL

I think a big part of who we are in RL comes through in SL - whether we want it to or not. I'm a little abrupt in real life - I'm aware of the problem. Mostly I'm so short with people because I'm busy, distracted or my head's somewhere else. It comes through on SL. It's unintentional - but it comes through. I apologize for it when I realize I've done it - but it's hard to hide personality traits like that. Try to convince yourself it's just an avi - but it's still you. Still you sitting at that keyboard. Still your words, thoughts and emotion. You still come through. (FYI – ALTs are still you too. Still YOU. For pity’s sake, what’s the deal with ALTs anyway!?)

That being said, I don't believe I've committed any serious faux pas in SL that could be so severe as to be eliminated as someone's friend (and I welcome someone I’ve offended to be upfront and confront me – it may be a miscommunication, or it may just be the way it is – either way, I’m open enough to discuss things and try to work the situation out). I try to treat myself and others the same in both "worlds"; if I can't look me in the mirror after saying/doing something, then I know I've done wrong. If I work super hard to keep people from finding out that I've done or said something, it's safe to bet it was WRONG. I try to be upfront and honest about everything. Ask me a direct question, and situation permitting, I'll give you a direct answer (some situations, while I am aware of, are none of my business and I refuse to get involved in, and well, my personal info is just that - personal).

I don’t think you throw your morals away when you hit connection on that main SL page. Maybe you’ve just crossed some people who chose to. Not everyone is like that.

As far as your “new” SL goes - sounds nice having an SL like that all the time. Almost inspirational. Mine’s like that sometimes..and those are the BEST SL days to me. :)

Blogger said...

I would agree that no matter how hard we try to mask it, our baseline personalities are what eventually is what everyone sees... for better or worse.

There are a few people who are (thankfully) no longer on my friends list... those "frenemies" you discussed... Not a bad thing either, unless you consider successful cancer surgery a bad thing!

The idea of an ALT must have something to do with hiding, but why? There's no need for a SL Witness Protection Program... Are the playing games? Deception? Cheating? Do the people that do this in SL do it in RL as well? What is it about themselves that they are hiding (or hiding from)? Perhaps someone who does that can chime in.

MY SL *is* great now! I spend less time on SL than ever, but enjoy every minute more than ever! It's not my "pixelated life" as it seems to be for some who must loathe their RL, it's simply an activity that I enjoy with like-minded folks who know how to enjoy SL without hurting others...

Bliss said...

Maybe my problem is that now I'm left trying to save something that's long since slipped through my fingers..

All before I ever realized it had happened..

Crighton Johin said...

It's important to remember that our SLs, just like our RLs, are ours. What it means to me is not what it may mean to you or someone else. To think that my view of anything, especially something as diverse and full of different potentials as SL, is the only one is foolish. For some people, SL is where they work, and it is serious business. For others it is a major source of entertainment. For others it is a major source of socializing.

Socializing involves human beings and everything that entails, including what we refer to so negatively as "drama." It's usually "drama" when we don't like it, as when someone hurts us or infringes on our "good time," or when we just plain don't understand it. It's very human to marginalize someone else when we just don't understand what that person is doing or who that person is (racism is a good example.)

I embrace drama, because it is part of being human, and everyone I meet on SL is human.....all too human. I've been called names, gossiped about and even spied on by people who don't know me at all. I've also judged the same people too harshly for what they have done, and what I have PERCEIVED they have done. It's that human thing again, that allows me to do something to someone else that I don't want done to me. It's funny how many times we pretty much know who is doing what behind our backs, but until we know for sure, we just have to accept them and let it go. And some people are just not very good at covering it up. I would much rather have them just come to me and tell me what's on their mind rather than fish for what they think or what someone else has told them.

SL is a mirror. It shows us who we are, but what we do, how we treat people, and the people that we attract. When I say that I meet my fair share of people of a certain type and then say I don't need them, guess what? I really do need them and that is why they show up. And they are not devils, but angels. All of them teachers, if I will only listen. And I've finally started listening, after weeks of fighting it.

Or course, I can also ignore it and just have fun. But then, relationships are the most fun I've ever had, and I'm talking all relationships, not just sexual/love. That is what SL is to me.....relationships with people. Grownups even!! Since most of my daytime during the week is spent with a 5 year old! lmao

So I enjoy the ride...all of it, not just the parts I like. It's all good.

The bottom line is, in SL or RL, live the best way we can. Learn from our mistakes, and we ALL do make mistakes. It's best to learn from mine rather than dwell on yours, which does me no good whatsoever. And two things I must do, make amends to those I've harmed, and forgive those who have harmed me. If I can't do either of those, I'm screwed.

Crighton Johin said...

Oh, and as far as alts go, there are any number of reasons to use them. Click on the link below to read why people use alts. I have an alt I created a while back, and I use it basically to give myself some space. Crighton's life is too hectic sometimes and I have trouble saying no, so I log on as someone else and have quiet time to myself.

I have used said alt for....nefarious reasons....I am sad to say, but it's another mistake I've made. I's so sad that human beings make Before laying a judgment on someone else's motives, you may want to actually ask someone rather than assigning motives dreamed up in your own head. Just a suggestion.....

Business people create alts for their finances. Creators create alts to test their creations. A lot of people are like me, and create them to get away from it all. Most of the people I know that use alts, use them wisely and productively.

Bliss said...

True. There's drama and then there's "drama".

I use the term "drama" to define a situation where someone makes trouble when there was none.

When someone goes out of their way to say or do something to make you out to be something or someone you're not.

That's unnecessary drama. That's entertaining yourself at the expense of others.

"My baby mama ran off with my brother" stuff. Well..that's life drama. Can't be helped.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I have to agree. You do only learn by the mistakes you make.

Sometimes, though..even when you know close your eyes and take a leap when it comes to some relationships. Hoping beyond hope that you've not fucked up royally by going against your better judgment. :)

Bliss said...

Personally, I've yet to see a good use for an ALT. I'm sure you're right.

But I've only ever seen them used as tools of mistrust.

And not even well..


Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Crighton Johin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bliss said...

Not a battle ground for you two.


Take it to IMs if you want.

Blogger said...

I've been told directly that some people use ALT's to keep money separate. So that's at least 1 good reason!

And as public/popular as Crighton is, I would imagine that "space" is an issue like he said... No papparatzi (sp?) in SL, but I'm sure the more people you know, the more want to chat! So that's 2 good reasons.

Bliss said...

I suppose.


Kimala said...

Drama is a term that simplifies all emotion and experience in a nice tidy package. Life is messy - RL and SL. Emotion and experience can be messy. They can be fun and crazy and sad and hurtful. It is all about being human.

There is an elephant in the room that needs to speak. Here goes...When I was thanked for not putting someone in the middle by letting her know she could opt to not hear my side of the story, I accepted the fact that she didn't want to hear it.

It is more than obvious to me now that when one doesn't speak her mind when given the original opportunity, that opportunity may be lost forever, and worse yet, people make up words to fill in the blanks. No one wins when everyone spends unending time and energy spinning stories to fill in those blanks. Sometimes going back to the source and asking the questions and deciding to be interested is the best way to proceed.

Nobody is perfect. I have never claimed to be perfect. I have tried to apologize to people I have hurt and make amends. Sometimes apologies aren't accepted and those who were hurt prefer the attention they get from that hurt more than the healing that comes from forgiving someone and moving on.

Bliss said...

When I made this post, I never expected so many people to take it so personally.

I imagine I'll address this later tonight personally.

Blogger said...

In one last attempt to close that chapter in a constructive way...

Definition of APOLOGY: an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret.

"I'm sorry you feel I did _____" does not follow the defninition of an apology..

As simply as I can explain, you can't apologize for how someone feels. You can apologize for your actions, but you first have to acknowlege them. To do otherwise is insincere and patronizing.

It's as simple as removing a couple of words... "I'm sorry I did _____".