Of Lags and Crashes…

I am in. No news… No, there are news, but from off-line.

I am hanging… In some weird place I don’t know how I got to last time… I want to move to another place, to Dogglounge, where I always come to when I don’t have any special destination. The TP doesn’t work. I try again. Nothing. I try other spot. Nothing. Again. No!

Like in some SL spots, there is NO “fly” button on my screen… Nice place, Mirelle! “You will stay here forever!”- says my inner voice. “No!” – I answer. “I will WALK! Like people always did, many centuries ago! :P They gathered their things, the most necessary things, took utensils to make their way more successful, like hat, boots, stock (not lock, stock and barrel! though weapons could be useful I think) and hit the road leading to… Rome, Mecca, Kiev, Goa, San Fransisco…”

I was firm and resolute… I walked…

And then… Suddenly I could fly again! Like I used to! I  flew! Wonder! Life is beautiful! Wind whizzing in my ears… Dreaming of the blue seas, amazing skies, green fields around me… It was beautiful! And then I struck. Struck into the beautiful X-ray fence! Bang!!! Thank you-u-u! The whole romance of the flying…

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Traces of SL in my “reality” or an ode to SL

Lately, I was somewhat distracted by the RL duties and necessities, and this made this expectation of coming back to SL really sweet. I’ve been to another city, at a trade fair, interpreting.

Getting up at 4:50 am… arriving at the train station while it’s still dark… running behind the train, being afraid to miss it… waiting for a conductor to bring along a cup of coffee, as it’d been too early to buy it in the street or to drink at home… All these things wouldn’t happen in SL. I don’t have to get up early to get somewhere! I can do it anytime! And if! Then I can change darkness into sunrise or noon! I don’t have to run after a train, ’cause, first, there ARE NO trains!

I mean – there are trains in SL, but who needs them to move from A to B, when we have TP! And coffee. Well… Coffee…

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Reflections on SL…

Today a thing happened to me which again made me think of the fact that in SL we generally behave just like in RL. Certainly considering the technical circumstances, like the possibility to “escape”, i.e. to “teleport away” from danger, disturbance, harassment, or the fact that we can remain incognito here and thus not to care about the consequences of our “deeds”.

I was showing a friend an orthodox church in SL, which is close to other temples and shrines. Before arriving there, we have been to a Torah School where you can see a white sign of the Star of David on the school wall. This white mesmerizing sign of no material right on the wooden wall makes a great impression on you, when you come back from some funky virtual islands with their glittering metal, glimmering lights and surreal perfect trees and flowers. You have to stop for a moment and think… just think, maybe of nothing at all. But that would mean – meditate. Then we sat down at a table and talked. Talked about religion and things beyond.
Coming to the orthodox church of St Nikolas, we first stood for a moment in the front yard listening to the orthodox choral psalms… Every time I hear it – it enchants me… My companion was a little hesitant. I first didn’t notice it. Then he asked if it was alright if he entered like that, in the clothing he had on. It struck me so much. I mean, yes, he knows, in RL I am orthodox ( not any religious feelings, but baptized). Alright. But this is SL! My God! People do here what they want, don’t they?! This sign of respect was like a lightning to me.

So, the striking idea was – we still behave here like in RL – and! – things can impress us sometimes just as much as in RL, and sometimes maybe even more. If you don’t agree – please, feel free to refute this.

My tip for now: go to some abandoned place on the map, where there are no people, no trees, no nothing and listen to some calm classical music.

Goodnight and good luck!

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SL – is it a kind of drug?

And here is the last, and most important part of this SL report which became a little prolonged – my fault.

As SS and HC formulated it, SL may be a rather addictive thing for some people. It takes time to adjust and get some balance here. And sure, almost all of the interviewees admitted, they are in some way addicted themselves. PM even said, that it’s funny to watch herself going crazy when she can not get on-line or when she crashes. UG thinks it’s very easy to get lost here and lose track of time while you interact with others. SS hinted that there are certainly people who can have problems to stop spending too much time here. Like PA, who said – she can not live without SL.

JC told me that SL is something different to each person. Some may use it to spark creativity and some use it to create a life they cannot or do not have in RL. So the answer would be – yes, it is a drug or endorphin rush when he creates something pleasing to himself. JC IS ADDICTED, ladies and gentlemen! As well as UG, PA, and me.

LV gave me a beautiful answer: ” If you are someone who can become immersed in a world of a good novel or film… then SL can be seductive.”

GV gave a little poetic answer:”I can only say that it becomes beautiful when you have something to share: yourself… and perhaps you are the drug yourself.”

UG’s self-reflections:” Will I die if I don’t get on? – No. Does my day seem to go smoother if I do go on SL? – Yes. Do I miss the interaction with my friends if I don’t stop by? – Yes, I do.”

Will they all leave someday? Who knows?

They don’t know for sure, but the sure thing is – all of them are staying here for a while.  Some have premium accounts, some have apartments here, some have friends, boyfreinds or husbands, and some just cherish their SECOND life,

for all its beauty and endless fields for our imagination.

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Second Life. Does it need improvement?

As you all may assume, the most usual answer to this question was the need to get rid of lags and crashes… Nice task for the Lindens whose platform is being overcrowded every day. Of course it is sometimes “laggy”, but, as JC said, Linden is doing all they can to create a stable platform for us to enjoy.

There were some other special, or rather detailed, improvement propositions which I gladly point out.

HC meant that the biggest change would be to make the user interface and ability to create clothes and objects easier – this would make it more acceptable to more people, and perhaps more people would stay in SL longer.

SS’s (great! three “S”!) improvement proposition was to create easier ways of using live sound, possibilities of voice communication, as well as a built-in translator. As he said, there are some which function as attachable objects, but they don’t work properly.

Graphics and tools for scripts are also not good enough for VB. PM wished SL could be little cheaper. Don’t really know if it CAN. GV, on the other hand, said to me that he’s already improving the First World, so he leaves the SecondWorld-improvement-task to me.

Little PM told me that everything is perfect, “just a little lag” and the wise UG’s words that I quote again were, “There is always room for improvement, no product is ever “perfect”. Part of the enjoyment here for me are the continual changes wrought by the Lindens in their quest to make SL a better place for all.”

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Second Life… Best Sanbox Ever, Gold-Mine or Ripp Off?

Second Life has completely fulfilled the desired dream of unlimited creativity platform, mentioned in so many media. Almost all the respondents of my small study said they try out their building skills in SL in full. Some are rather easygoing concerning their achievements, the others are more ambitious and demanding. JC for instance, says, he mostly creates things “he and his friends can enjoy, and he had recently been packaging his creations for retail, so others can enjoy it as well.”

Few still claim, they don’t have enough time to learn to build. And moreover, as VB said, it’s not the same just to build for nothing and to build for your own land. She has no land, because “it’s too hard to find and she doesn’t like the rules to buy or rent a house.” SS has another priority – “I am fully occupied looking around; I do my building in RL,”-which is pretty honourable too, isn’t it?

Now to the topic which is obvious to the most of you – whether SL is more to EARN or to SPEND. Some interviewees even laughed at me! “A-ha-ha! Spend money of course! I am not in SL to earn money! it’s a “chimere””-was the answer of VB. So, as you might assume, most represent the idea of just enjoying being in SL, and even if they make small earnings there, like teaching (OK), building (JC) or sell China food on a Japanese island (me), they do it only to spend it right afterwards.

JC was even a little in rage about the idea of a gold-mine,”I am not here to make money off of people that are uninformed and I do not take advantage of people with real-estate schemes. The whole real-estate racket here is cooky madness to me.”

UG hinted at the idea of the only other possible EARN-model-SL-creation are world biggest companies with their own ambitions and market strategies, like Nissan, Adidas, etc., who in their turn have first to SPEND a pretty amount in SL just to start.

I would like to make a conclusion with the words of HC-“I think money is a consequesnce of the options that people have, and you can do both spend and earn, but mostly play and have fun with SL.”

 

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SL versus RL

Good afternoon! Sorry, I was away moving to another RL city… It takes more time to do that – unluckily we have no TP here yet.

I would like to present the next part of the report: SL versus RL. I was wondering how people see themselves in SL, whether it influenced them or whether they feel completely free to do what they want without showing who they are in RL. Great topic for many psychologists!

So, as I expected, 8 from 10 dear avatars are hiding their RL identity in their profiles. The explanation for that is mostly as simple as ‘I can play more freely..’ or ‘there is no need to show it’. UG said, he actually leaves some general information in his profile, while giving more details to people he knows better. But with the course of time, he feels he grew more comfortable in giving out information.

Conclusion: most of people feel free in SL by pushing away their RL issues and diving fully into our Wonderful Second World.

Though the SL residents don’t like giving info about their “RL avatars” (quoting GV), they mostly identify them with themselves, either physically or mentally. The inner side of ourselves stays in. UG is a special case, who has various SL identities and only few of them are really him, the others are ‘like masks, costumes he can wear to fit the mood he and his friends are in’. Two of the ten told me, that they are not the same with the avatars, but I suppose it was more referring to their appearance. Sure, we cannot look even approximately the way we are in RL, which on the other hand doesn’t refer to Bono from U2.

And coming to topic, where I was extremely curious: if RL-we change after our SL experience. Only 3 of the 10 guys and girls tried to persuade me that they hadn’t changed in any way. And one of them, GV, on the contrary feels that it’s ‘food for his points of view’ and that it’s ‘further gasoline for his mind’.

UG feels he sees some things differently, some of his priorities changed. JC feels his creativity has been woken up by SL. OK said she is improving herself. SL taught SS to contact people more freely – which is a wonderful and the most logical SL-affect, I think.

So, here we see only good sides of SL: creativity, fun, mistery, experience, spirit.

See u soon with the next part!
Mirelle

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