Yesterday I met a new person and had an interesting conversation with them, so I thought I would write about it here. As we were chatting, I quoted something he had written on his profile, to see how he would respond. It said ‘somewhere a painting is ageing instead of you’, which I took to be a reference to the film Dorian Gray, the story of a young, impressionable Victorian male who makes a deal with the devil, trading his soul to keep his beauty and youth, while a portrait of himself ages and displays the effects of his corrupt life. So what he said to me was, that he thought very few people will be gradually ageing their avatar over time in SL, and that we (in RL) are the painting that ages instead of the avatar. I found that really interesting to think about. In the age of mesh, Second life is certainly brimming with beautiful, youthful avatars, and I think that although there are options to look more mature or even old, the majority don’t choose that. Even those guys that I see around who you could say choose to look more mature like around late 40s to 50s, they are mostly in those bulked up muscle avatars like they spend 6 out of 7 days at the gym. And I have to say that in all of my 9 years in SL, I have never seen an older or old female avatar except as a joke avi, like my one friend’s scary Grannie avatar :0 So I guess you could spend a long time analyzing that if you wanted to. And so we are all here in this virtual world, creating our pixels to our own perception of beauty, and what I liked about this person’s response to me is that he included himself in his observation. Some people like to point fingers at others on their profiles, while removing themselves from the equation.
Going further with the Dorian Gray comparison, it’s true that SL is a virtual space where a person can live out fantasies and experiment if they want to. But depending on how extreme a person goes with that, perhaps going to darker fantasies or kinks that they might not dare in RL… and their avatar stays fresh and beautiful, but what effect is it having on the mind of the RL person? This was just thoughts I had, not opinion of anyone I know. I love the freedom of SL and the fantasy aspect, adult or otherwise (within the Terms of Service of course). And for some people, SL can be the only place where they can really get to be themselves. Which makes me think about how sometimes the avatar you meet in SL can be a truer reflection of who the RL person really is. In which reality do we actually wear the mask? When the RL person looks into the eyes of their avatar, which one is the more truthful representation of who they are inside?
I should say that freedom doesn’t just mean adult stuff either, it means the ability to be anything your mind can create.. yesterday one friend of mine was a dancing horse, so yeah lol. But of course with freedom, there is always the road to corruption or doing things that in RL you wouldn’t dare do or totally shouldn’t do, and I suppose in the end it all depends on the morality of the individual person. While I am an open minded person, I have my boundaries and they are pretty much the same in SL as they are in RL, and I know what’s just plain wrong (and I will report that sh*t). In the end, I didn’t really conclude anything, just a lot of interesting random thoughts about SL and what he said. However people represent themselves in the virtual world and whatever they do is all good with me as long as it causes no harm and doesn’t break any actual laws. Enjoy life, both of them! :)