Why Second Life is Not a Game #276
Let’s start with the day you create your avatar beginning with the links of what ever ‘keyword’ you may have searched or maybe an AD on some website. You clicked it. You clicked it for a reason, whether it be intrigue, wonder or just sheer boredom, you wanted to see what was the hype over this particular Virtual World. As one of the top Virtual Worlds, it stands on it’s own for interest by resident life and who doesn’t want to be apart of that? So you hit that orange-yellow button that reads “JOIN NOW, It’s fast, free and easy!” You think, ‘What’s the harm in that?’ and proceed without a second thought. After following the prompts, you are faced with the viewer screen that allows you to ‘login’ your avatar. You are then whisked away into what looks like a video game but is clearly far from it. Having to deal with the instructions as a, and I use only technical terms here, ‘newb’ you start to understand the movements and learn how to communicate with other residents in world.
Then you learn about ‘teleporting’ and that is when things take a turn. You start to encounter other, older residents, some who are willing to help others who are there to torment you for a few weeks as you learn the ropes. Yes this happens to literally everyone. Why? It is a form of initiation I guess, to see if you are cut out for what follows. But wait, you made a friend. Someone who was just as new as you, and you stick together for as long as you can to fight off the obstacles of Second Life and all that it has to offer. You find out about travel and exploration, shopping and hunting, partying and sex. Things seem to be great now that you have friends and have finally found a place that you just fit. Even if you use Second Life as a form of escape from your real life or just to chat with people you have never met or intend on meeting. As a huge virtual chat room, it takes the cake. It doesn’t have goals or level-ups, there are no trophies or winners and losers. It is just you, and your new found friends.
But then things take a turn for the worse. Drama follows, something went wrong with a new Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Friend/Virtual-Family-Member and you have no idea what to do. Leave? No you enjoy it way too much here, you now have a home, an inventory ready to explode and friends that know you better than your Real Life ones. So you Mute/Block/Erase the memory of the person who has jilted you and move on like the rest of the residents before you. As a community we all go through this experience, no one is left out of a little drama and hurt but there is an upside: Love. Love from your Virtual friends & family. It is what you craved in Real Life, attention from a loved one, someone to listen to your thoughts, wishes, and dreams while making you laugh to death all day long.
We all have said at one point, “I am leaving this place and never coming back!!!” but we miss it too much to actually stay away. Real Life one day will bring you back down and you will need a friend to pick you back up, then you remember the memories you have made in here and you log in sheepishly ashamed but you are forgiven and welcomed back with open arms.
There are no winners, there are no losers, just amazing residents who shape our visions of this World and the next.
-This is your girl, signing off and into world.