, , , , ,

We all know Second Life can be addicting. I thought I was over that, because I had deliberately (and painfully!) pulled away in order to give proper attention to my First Life (including, at the time, a new romance that is no more, although dating possible replacements makes as much a demand on my time as actually being in a relationship!). It turns out that if I’m not careful, I can be sucked in to Second Life pretty much at any time that I want company … by which I mean, I’m spending time on Second Life that is really more than I can reasonably afford to spend. Well, c’est la deuxieme vie!

Whose house is this? Why does Kate look vaguely Japanese?
These questions and more, to be answered below!

But of course, it’s very rewarding! Going out on a date with an old virtual friend, trailing along on shopping expeditions, catching up on what some of my closest friends are doing, looking for some parcel of land that’s for sale in the same sim as my store (there is none; a very nice group that has created lovely sims has gobbled them all up. My store will have to stay this size or move, at least for now.)… my ego gets stroked, I get to exercise my wardrobe, play without restraint, spend time with people who are dear to me…but there really is a First Life out there that needs attending to, so I’ll need to get myself straightened out and stop jaunting off into Second Life at every opportunity.

To facilitate this plan, I rented a home in beautiful Flotsam Beach, the sim run by creator and creatrix Seven Shikami and Jen Shikami, a brother-sister pair whose work includes everything from an awe-inspiring array of wings to virtual arcade games to tiny fairy avatars that make Tinies look huge to the fishing game that has quickly become so popular in Second Life. (It seems to be one of those things, like gambling or dancing, that people are often willing to do for hours and hours on end. Jen says the unofficial motto of the game is “Don’t forget to pee!”)

My new house in Flotsam Beach

Actually, moving into a new, Shikami-supplied beach house in Flotsam Beach does anything but help me stay away from Second Life. It just gives me more excuses to go back in. But I was tired of living in a box floating above my store, with no prims for furniture or pictures or dance poles or anything!

The other micro-quest I’ve taken on lately is improving the skin of Asian Kate, my vaguely Japanese-looking version of myself. This happened because of Grizzy Griswold’s recent challenge in which she and a number of friends tried living in avatars of a different race, gender, and/or size for a week.

Grizzy Griswold as a Moslem woman

While I sometimes spend a day or three as Black Kate, I rarely have done that with Asian Kate, and I began to wonder why. The answer, it turns out, was as plain as the nose on my face–in fact, it had a lot to do with my face! I wasn’t enjoying my skin, and since I didn’t like how I looked, I avoided using that version of myself. Easily resolved…if I could find a skin I liked better! And after a new search (my original Asian skin was very hard to find) I turned up this gem, Glam Sakura Bisque Ton Visage from Sin Skins

Glam Sakura Bisque Ton Visage from Sin Skins

This replaced my Asiatique Dark Seductress from Tete a Pied, which had been my favorite of the original Asian skins I found, but which I guess I didn’t fall in love with. (And I usually wear Gala skins, so I’m used to falling in love with the skin that I wear!)

Asiatique Dark Seductress skin from Tete a Pied

The differences might be nearly invisible to many readers, which makes me look a little silly! So let me point them out: my old skin has a pretty constant tone throughout, while my new one has subtle variations that bring out skin tone and features. The detail is also a bit clearer around the eyes and mouth on my new skin, which is a small but (for me) very important difference. This skin is easy for me to stay in!

Of course, in the four hours or so I’ve spent in this skin since I bought it, no one has commented that I suddenly seemed to have changed race. I’m hoping that’s because they’re used to me sprouting wings and changing complexion and turning into a mermaid and all, and not that my new skin looks insufficiently Asian to do the job.

Unfortunately, Sin Skins only sells this beautiful piece of work in two colors, both of them lighter than I would like: Porcelain and Bisque. I think this might be partly due to the problem a number of skin designers have mentioned with detail on darker skins, although it’s a shame for ethnic diversity in Second Life. Still, I feel very fortunate to have found an Asian skin that I like.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a female Asian skin, you might also try D-Skin. The ones I tried there didn’t really work on my shape, but Iris Ophelia loves them. πŸ™‚

(By the way, my apologies to anyone who might be cringing along with me every time I use the word “Asian,” as though Asia were one big undifferentiated country. But since the skins aren’t specifically Japanese or Thai or Korean or Chinese or Vietnamese (etc.), I can’t really find a better term. Oh well!)

Actually, that’s one of the funniest things to me about ethnicity in Second Life: since it’s optional, anyone who wants to contribute to ethnic diversity in Second Life can, by changing ethnicity! If you give that a try, would you post in the comments here, preferably with pictures? I’d love to see. And don’t forget, a new ethnicity is a good excuse to go shopping, if (like me) you won’t be inclined to spend time in a look unless it looks just right to you. Perfectionist multiculturalists of the world, unite! πŸ˜‰

^^^\ Kate /^^^