This is my 100th post on this particular blog. I felt like I should probably mark the event with some sort of special post, but first, I went on a mad TPing spree trying to find some Slink appliers for my hands, for the tattoo I am currently wearing. No luck, but I did find this sign that I’m holding in the picture below on my travels. It’s free, copyable and shareable, if anyone wants it to display in their club, store, or home. And of course you could prolly make one yourself, if you wanted different font or texture or whatever. But the appearance of the sign is not important, the message is.
‘The only real things in Second Life are our feelings, so please take care of each other.’
Second Life is often a difficult if not impossible thing to explain to people who have never tried it. Even for noobs already in SL they often don’t understand what they are supposed to do. I had one such person asking me ‘what am I supposed to do here’ just the other day.
The first thing to understand is, Second Life is not a game. A game is generally defined as a form of competitive activity or sport played according to rules. There is usually structure and an end goal. In SL, there is no structure, no end goal, no ‘rules of play’ (although of course there are Terms of Service that you must follow, (and some people can get hella competitive, but that’s another story.)) In SL, you must use your imagination and create your own fun and amusement. Unfortunately, some people do this by griefing or trolling or behaving in an uncaring way, because they forget that behind every avatar is a real person, with real feelings.
Second Life is an amazing place, and on the whole, inhabited by fun, imaginative and creative people. My SL revolves around music, exploring and photography. For me, I enjoy a mostly immersionalist existence in SL… that is, I don’t really mix RL and SL, although I don’t mind talking about RL situations and feelings with those people I am close to. Some people like to use SL as a big old chat room and are not interested in the fantasy or escapist element of SL at all. Others keep their SL as a total fantasy and never reveal anything about themselves or their RL to anyone. Sometimes they will use non-human avatars although this is by no means a rule. Some human looking avatars are driven by total immersionalists, some non-human avatars are driven by people who just want to be creative with their look but are happy to share RL stuff. So never assume you know what someone’s intention is.
I tend to make friends with people who enjoy SL in a similar way to me, but however you like to operate in SL is completely fine, as long as you respect others and are upfront about how you like to be in SL. Like, if someone is trying to be in a relationship with you and you are only in SL to Roleplay or whatever, you better tell them from the get go or hearts can get damaged. Never forget that just because you are looking at a virtual world, hiding behind a laptop or monitor, the world you are in may be virtual but the people are not. Generally, if it’s not cool to say or do in RL, then don’t say or do it in SL. At the same time, to protect yourself, don’t give out too much RL information too soon (or ever if you don’t want,) don’t trust too fast. As you get to know new friends in SL, share what you feel comfortable sharing, but NEVER let someone force you to give them more info that you want to. A real friend will always respect your boundaries and accept you for who you are. If you meet a bad apple, learn from that experience, mute if necessary and move on. Don’t stop making friends or exploring or interacting because you have a bad experience. Just keep your boundaries and remember that while some people think you are a ‘game’ and there for their amusement, many other people in SL are genuine and great friendships can be made with people from every corner of the globe. That’s pretty amazing in itself.
So yea, my 100th post. I wanted to find somewhere special to take my picture and then I thought, really, there’s nowhere I love more in SL than my SL garden, and so there I stand. Thank you for reading my posts and meandering thoughts, if you do. I really appreciate it :)