My ability to spend time in Second Life comes and goes, and I’ve been so tied up with other things lately that I almost missed the fact that today marks ten years in Second Life. Ten years! That hardly even makes sense to me.
A lot has happened in that ten years, so rather than blathering on forever, I thought I would choose the five or six things that have stood out the most for me in that time. This isn’t a complete list of everything that’s been important to me (for instance, where’s mention of the store I had for a couple of years long ago? It didn’t make the list, that’s where it is).
They weren’t easy to choose, and I’m sure that soon enough I’ll realize I left out something bigger than any of them, but oh well, that kind of thing happens. In no particular order, here they are:
Friends have always been hands down the most important and wonderful thing in Second Life to me. I can’t even name all the remarkable people I’ve met and cared about and spent time with, because I’d be sure to forget someone, but from the friends I met in my first days who helped me get oriented to the friend I met the day before yesterday moving into a new home, you are the people I log in to see and the reason that Second Life is wonderful. Some of you are long gone (Eris and Wrean, I’m thinking of you two particularly), some I barely see but am delighted to come across every now and then (Lanna, Vaneeesa), and some are still delightfully present (like Andi, Ant, Peter, Robby, Sadie, Lynn, and Katt).
The Sweet-Tongued Sylphs
Long, long ago, on the shores of a virtual sea, Eris Fallon and I set up a tiki house for parties and, far above it, a cascade of stone platforms with a glass-floored tower and a waterfall and flower gardens. We then adopted (or were adopted by) Andi Spear, and together the three of us were the Sweet-Tongued Sylphs–sweet tongued, officially, because we are all talkers. It was a wonderful virtual home for quite some time.
I’ve tried all kinds of approaches to make it easier for people to connect in Second Life, because for some reason I’m obsessed with that. The one that was the most fun was Eris’s and my venue, the Diversionarium, a place where people could go to hang out and play social games. There was a limerick game and a building game, an improv game, and others, all of which we built ourselves. We thought it would be great to have a place to go where you could socialize that wasn’t a dance club–not because dance clubs aren’t very nice, but because it’s good to have options. What we didn’t count on was how much time and effort it requires, day after day, to keep bringing people to a venue like that! Neither of us could spare the time from our First Lives to keep that up, so after a long, brave try, we folded up the Diversionarium and put it away. (It was actually a little more involved then that, but that’s another story.)
The Confederation of Democratic Simulators
CDS is very new to me, only something I’ve known about since last month, so it’s surprising it makes this list, but it’s a kind of place I never realized existed in Second Life–a neighborhood, a community that stays in place where you can know the people who live around you. I spent a few weeks exploring it and rhapsodizing about it here, but just last week I moved in, and I’ve set up a little house to furnish and live in there, hopefully for a very long time. Everyone I’ve met there to date has been not only friendly and welcoming, but also interesting and worth knowing (Naftali, Pip, Lilith, Callie, Han, Widget!). Unfortunately, there’s still the problem of not being online at the same time as other people, but I’m very curious to see what life will be like there over time.
What’s ironic is that CDS has been around longer than I have: I had just never known much about it until recently.
This is a superficial one, I admit, but once I realized that mesh bodies used custom shapes and got a Maitreya Lara body for myself, I ended up completely rebuilding my wardrobe, which considering how extensive my wardrobe needs to be in Second Life for me to be satisfied meant a huge undertaking. It’s not that I think that mesh bodies are the end-all: I don’t always even know whether a person’s wearing one or not. It’s just that so many subtle problems with system bodies, like weird angles at joints, are fixed with my mesh body, even though some other problems (like skinny arms) are introduced because each mesh body reflects some individual idea of what a beautiful body looks like.
This was originally a 5-item list, but I couldn’t let it go without mentioning you. This blog and my readers (and especially the readers I get to meet in Second Life who actually recognize me from it) have been a source of happiness for me since nearly the beginning. Thank you for reading, and may your first ten years in virtual reality–or your next ten–be as joyful as mine have been.
^^^\ Kate /^^^