Second Life (commonly called “SL”) is many things too many different people. Both the journey and the point of view within this three dimension digital world is unique to each individual. To the casual observer or user, Second Life can be viewed on a very simple level if one so desires or a very complex level too. It’s unique way of allowing people to connect with others via an Avatar that they create is still very much an evolving way of communicating. Having been a member of Second Life now for a length of time, I have observed within myself and in others too, both the good points of SL and the not so good points in how people interact with each other. Through various interactions I have made some very important friendships in SL that are as important and “real” as friendships I have in real life. I have also had friendships in SL with people who sadly fall within the subsection of people who are really lonely in real life, and seem to end up trapped within the complexity of a digital “make-believe” world that they have created that outwardly projects to the casual viewer, this cool, together and glamorous persona, but beneath their creation is someone who is desperately lonely and sad in Real Life.
There is also a subsection within Second Life that actively partakes in the various areas known as role-playing (“rp”). As you can imagine the structure of Second Life is ideal for a person to use if they are interested in role-playing. I’ve dabbled a few times at role-playing, but have never done it seriously or on a consistent basis, so I’m not an “expert” on the subject. What I do find and will say about role-playing that I find appealing, specifically with people who truly role play in Second Life, is that you know what you get with them. Their digital creations of an avatar is to act out various roles. Not always, but with a person who role-plays with their avatar, the line between the person’s real life and their second life is firm; they are not trying to merge the lines or divisions of the two worlds. You accept the digital creation and Second Life friendship for what it is, a role. With some other people sadly you never really sure what you get with them, be it who they are in Second Life or who they are in their Real Life, the friendship always seems as if your walking on sand that’s constantly moving. I can appreciate how everyone should be guarded and not quick to put their real life on their digital sleeve, with who they interact with, but I must say I find it rather sad when long-term friendship in Second Life that you feel are or were close, are really not at all.
So ultimately one has to accept, if one “dives in” that the structure and complexities of the labyrinth of a digital world of “make-believe” in Second Life is a constant shifting of the digital sands we create.
For the end of this post, as I find music the best way to express myself at times, I’ll end with a song called “Into Dust” by Mazzy Star. Some what of a melancholy type of mood, but structurally very well done for the emotion the song writer wants to evoke; enjoy.