Everybody loves questions! Well, I love questions. I used to love reblogging the “ask me” posts on Tumblr, where readers pick from the list and drop the question number in your inbox. I don’t see those as often anymore and I miss answering them, dorky as some of them tended to be. Tumblr hasn’t been much of a social space for me in quite a while, even though I have more followers than ever they are all very quiet. I really miss the interaction and community I used to see a couple of years ago.
At the same time I have noticed the SL Tumblr community seems to have really taken off. At the moment I only follow a handful of SLers and haven’t used the Tumblr counterpart to this blog in a good seven months, but it’s fun to see so many posts in the SL tag these days. I sometimes think I should make a new primary account to follow only SL blogs, because right now when I follow them they probably wonder why and assume I’m fishing for followers since I don’t post anything related to Second Life. On the other hand even if I make a new SL Tumblr I suspect I’d always forget to log into it, because that’s what always happens whenever I’ve tried to make an SL-specific account on any social network.
In the end I think I’ll just dust off the little neglected Tumblr mirror blog and see if I can pay more attention to the SL community. The Strawberry Singh Monday meme for this week asks Twenty SL Personal Questions, which seems like a good post to start with if I begin publishing back to the other blog again, right? 🙂
And once again: Yay! Questions! Jumping right in to the long list.
- When and how did you discover Second Life? • My husband saw tech blog articles about it, when it beginning to get a lot of attention in 2006 as a place to make money and create things. As an artist he thought that was pretty cool, and he was also intrigued by the idea of buying and selling land. But at the time we were too busy being newlyweds so we didn’t get around to thinking of signing up until January of the following year. Since we were both hopeless researchers we bought the Official Guide to Second Life, studied it cover to cover, read everything we could find, and were probably the most prepared newbies to hit the grid in early February of 2007. We were ready to create!
- Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? • Although they were not shared virtual worlds I was hugely addicted to the Sims and Sims 2 games, so I was familiar with a 3D environment and was pretty instantly comfortable with SL. This also probably explains why I mostly just wanted to decorate houses and dress up my avatars when I joined. I was aware of online virtual communities well before I heard of SL, but because they were for social interaction they scared me off. I preferred a single player experience.
- Has Second Life met your expectations? • I didn’t have any expectations to start with, so I’d say it’s exceeded them and has made me very happy.
- If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? • Can I go back to the first ten minutes of registration instead and head myself off before I create my first account? At that point I will be shouting in my ear, “No! No! Give the name more thought! You can’t change it, ever! Pick something you really like!”
- How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? • Flying was pretty easy, I got that right away. I still can’t drive any manner of vehicle without looking like I’m drunk. You should’ve seen me trying to steer a bike around Frisland recently. xD
- Do you have a mystery alt? • I have several alts, but usually I only log them in if I want to take a pic with more than one av, or to take them shopping to spruce up their wardrobes. Most of them were created to make cute names, to be testing alts, or to see what was going on with the new user process.
- Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? • Actually just yesterday a friend commented that he thought I’ve done one of the best jobs he’s seen of matching my av’s looks to my human, lol. I feel he’s being pretty generous, but I have spent a lot of time trying to tweak my avatar’s features to be a reflection of me. Well, at least as much as one can do with sliders. I wish my RL self was as thin and pretty as Ravensong, she’s me, but definitely an idealized twenty years younger version of me. Personality wise she’s entirely me, I’ve never attempted to create a persona and unique avatar identity that is distinct from my RL identity.
Actually in some ways Ravensong is someone I wish to be, in that as I tweak her shape a bit I’m using her to visualize my fitness goal, as she’s right around what I aspire to reach ultimately, if I can stick to my plan for a year or so.
- Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? • Although I’ve never met them, a lot of the SL photographers I see on Flickr are amazing and inspire me creatively in SL and RL. 😀
- Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? • I don’t think it’s any easier, actually I’ve found that my social anxiety is a little worse in SL than it is in RL. I’ve seen other people make a similar statement and I have no idea why this happens. Maybe it has to do with not being able to make eye contact, and read a person’s body language and hear their voice. Now once that social anxiety hurdle is crossed I think it’s as easy to make good friends in SL or elsewhere online as it is offline, and the closest friendships I have at the moment are with people I met in online communities.
- Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? • Sure, as Strawberry mentioned, you used to hear about people who fell in love as pen pals long before there was any such thing as the internet. I was never a bit surprised to hear about online romances.
- How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? • Not really.
- How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? • I don’t think so.
- Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. • I love photography in both worlds. I love to create things in both worlds, albeit with entirely different tools! I keep in touch with some friends in both SL and RL.
- If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? ( Kind of like the Matrix) • I don’t particularly want to plug something into myself physically because ouch, I’ll just wait for the singularity and download my consciousness lol. Actually what I always wanted was my own personal Star Trek holodeck so I can make my wish fulfillment fantasies come true. Okay, yes I do want to live more immersively, at least sometimes. 😀
- How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is? • If somebody keeps their real life identity a complete secret then they can do whatever they want in world, whether it’s good or bad, because they are totally anonymous and there won’t be real life consequences.
- How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? • I budget a little fun money for SL each month, though not a lot, and I’m stingy with my Lindens when it comes to buying clothes and stuff. I don’t really care about how bleeding edge fashionable I am, I do like to read fashion blogs and pick up new things, but I also still like to wear my regular system layer clothes sometimes. (Horrors!) I am far more likely to buy clothes in SL, RL me is totally the opposite of fashion forward… I’m content to putter around the world in jeans and tee shirts, and when I do see something cute in a display at the mall the first thing I think sometimes is “I wonder if I can find something like that in SL?”
- Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? • I think they present a fun, new dimension to human interaction.
- If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? • I think you’d want to limit that to only receiving ‘feelings’ from people on a very restricted friends list. A sensation of loving emotions from your partner would be pretty cool, or sending someone a feeling of joy, or something uplifting. Not sure I’d want to be the recipient of an emotion sent by a friend who was mad at me though. And certainly not from random strangers, imagine an emotion IM from somebody who thinks your avatar is super hot and wants to let you know just how attracted and excited they are about you… *shudder* O.o
- Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. • The only thing would be 3D building, because I never attempted that before SL. But everything else I’ve honed in SL has also been applicable to and practiced on real life hobbies, such as practicing on how to compose a nice photo, or becoming more comfortable with Photoshop.
- If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? • If I ever had any I suspect they’d be amused.