Archive for the ‘About Lanna’ Category

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What Came First?

July 31, 2011

Why haven’t I been around Second Life much lately?  In my last post, I tried to describe my feeling of Second Life being a place had shifted and I found my interactions had a different quality to them.  Sure, this has been a factor in my being around Second Life less, but it wasn’t just that.  Nor was it ever because I felt like SL simply became a glorified chat room as some suggested.  As I alluded in the last post, there is more to the story.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a rich imagination; dreaming vividly of worlds and lives that I could clearly see in my mind’s eye.  Almost in the first minutes of being in Second Life, I felt plugged into my creativity and  imagination in ways that I didn’t expect.  Moreover, I found myself excited by the promise of SL; that it gave me opportunities for exploration and communication and connection that I would never have imagined. For an idealist with some deep dreams, it felt like a limitless horizon.

The real story here isn’t Second Life, but of me.  I’m a dreamer for all sorts of reasons, but one of those reasons has long been a means of escape; when things got unpleasant when I was little, I learned I could build something favorable in my mind.  So while I was excited by the promise of SL, it also became an interest at a time when my first life was filled with stress.   While it was true that I was coming to SL because of the promise I felt it held, I also came to SL to escape and to fill needs that weren’t being met in my first life.   Here’s where my spiral began: I would log into SL to escape and deferred addressing some of my RL issues which led to more stress and nurtured the need for more escape.  Let me be clear about one thing, I am grossly oversimplifying this with the benefit of hindsight; there were lots of factors playing into my issues with my SL and my RL, but I would also describe this as the overarching theme.  The upshot of it all?  I’ve been away because I felt I needed to be away.  My time in RL has been well spent taking care of some things that needed attention; while things are far from perfect, they are much better than they were.

What does all this mean?    I’ve not given up on Second Life at all, the same holds true about my belief in the promise of virtual worlds.  I still love SL, but will simply be around less.  For those of you who know me in-world, you *will* see me again, but it is likely to be for moments here and there.  In a related vein, not that I’ve blogged much lately, but this also likely to be my last post; I would like to thank everyone for playing along so nicely as I’ve thought out loud about my virtual life over the years.  So, thanks again, and so long!   And, as Vera Lynn so beautifully sang,  “We’ll meet again/Don’t know where/Don’t know when/But I know we’ll meet again/Some sunny day.”

 

 

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Arc of an Avatar

May 27, 2011

In answer to my last post, nope, I wasn’t typing, sorry about that.  I’ve not updated my blog for the past six months for a variety of reasons.  Probably the biggest is that I haven’t spent much time in Second Life at all during that time.  The other is that I’ve simply not had anything  that I felt like saying about Second Life.  Lately, however, I’ve found myself reflecting on my experiences; wondering why I don’t think to log in much any more.  There are many reasons, of course, but I’ve broken them into two broad categories.  The first category is that *my* SL shifted and the second are my first life reasons for having a robust second life.  I’m hoping to blather some about each in this and a subsequent blog post.

The ways in which I interacted within Second Life changed for me.  One of the things that I felt when I started was an experience of place; that I was *there* through my avatar.  As time passed, I found that Second Life became more like a glorified chat room.  I would log in and my avatar would stay in one place while I would juggle conversations in IM.  I recognize that this is my own fault; I certainly chose activities that led to that sort of interaction.  While I chose those interactions, I can’t help but think that I followed some sort of arc of interaction with an avatar through the sorts of conversations I was having.  Like any context, I got to know people over time.  Where much of my conversation began as relating to the experience my avatar was having or interacting with the context of Second Life, with time more of my conversations were with friends about whatever we would feel like discussing.  In this case, much of the conversation eventually gravitated toward first life.   Talking more about first life reinforced those interactions and I realized that I was interacting through place and avatar less and less.  Not that this was bad, but it was different and marked significant shifts in my experience with Second Life.  The more I experienced it as a 3D chatroom, the less important Second Life felt to me as a place.

I can’t help but be curious if others have had this sort of experience.  So I put it to you, dear readers, have you felt your lives blurring together the longer you were in SL and got to know people in more real ways?  Did that lead to a change in experience for you?  Have you done anything differently as a result?

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Charlanna Beresford is typing…

December 9, 2010

By my reckoning, Linden Lab owes me an hour or two of my life.  Not because of the time I’ve spent in Second Life, but because of time waiting politely due to the SL bug  in IMs where it will tell you that “so and so is typing…” when they really aren’t.  I can’t begin to tell you the number of loooong silences that have happened as a result.  I usually sheepishly follow up with “are you typing or is SL lying?”  The person then tells me they aren’t and we follow it up with a giggle, of course, but only after we’d been scratching out heads and wondered what happened.  A couple of minutes here and a couple of minutes there really do add up!  Anywho, just throwing this out there, dear readers, it is a bug that drives me up a tree and who knows, maybe some day Linden Lab will fix it…

 

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Message in a Bottle

December 1, 2010

Who doesn’t love a good time travel movie?  They can raise so many questions that seem challenging to answer.  So much is possible in Second Life, but sadly, time travel is not (And you know what I mean, so please don’t remind me that you can time travel with RP, k?).   But what if you could really travel back in time in Second Life?  I found myself asking this question, which became, “What would you tell yourself if you could travel back in time and give yourself advice as a new Resident in SL?”

Curious what I would say? Set your Wayback machine and look after the jump:

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Raindrops on Kittens?

September 17, 2010

One of my favorite pictures - taken by boheme Oh

Isn’t that how the song goes? Or was it about brown paper kettles?  Sometimes I get the lyrics to songs all jumbled up.  Well, whatever the words are, I really enjoy the iconic song My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music.  I’ve learned there is so much of life is about simple pleasures.  The way the sunlight hits dew on the grass on some mornings.  Waking to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and cooking bacon.  Things like that. The same applies to Second Life, of course and I thought I would take a moment to share just a few of my favorite things in my digital life. I’ve decided to keep *my* list experiential, but it could just as easily include technical items. Here are a few of my favorite things!

  • The ding ding of a new IM
  • Hugging animations
  • When I don’t have to adjust the prim attachments on a new piece of clothing
  • Randomly meeting an interesting new person – especially someone I wouldn’t likely have met in RL
  • Connecting and sharing with people I love
  • When someone says “Welcome back!” when I’ve been AFK
  • Stumbling onto an unexpected and amazing build

My list could go on, really.  So, what is it for you, dear reader, what are some of your favorite things in Second Life?

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Push Me, Pull You…

September 8, 2010
pushmepullyou

Image from saltairealpacas.com

If you know me in Second Life or have followed this blog at all, you’re likely to know that I’m prone to periods of reflection.   I’ve been nosing around one of these reflective times for a little while now; asking myself “what do I want from my Second Life?”  What has come of this latest round of thinkiness you ask?  I haven’t come up with good answers yet, but I have found myself asking “why am I here?”   If I’m being brutally honest when I answer that,  I would say that I’ve been a little like I’m Doctor Dolittle’s fabulous pushmi-pullyu in Second Life.  On the one hand, I’ve found myself affirmatively exploring all that Second Life has to offer; drawn like a moth to a flame by the creativity, people and potential of Second Life (and don’t get me started on the concept of the potential of SL at the moment, I might get ranty.  Perhaps a blog post on that will follow.)    Yet on the other hand, part of my Second Life has been about avoidance of some complicated first life issues; the sort where this is not really a right or wrong answer, but likely to have some different sorts of ache no matter the direction (and if you *really* want to know all of the details of this, go ahead and ask; I’ll share them conversationally.)   So I am in SL for multiple reasons, some good, some less good; I’ve flipped back and forth between the two several times, but am not really certain if I could articulate how or why it has changed for me.

Leaping from the personal to the general, I’ve noticed that the same is often true for others in Second Life.   In one camp are the people being pulled into Second Life; drawn to the fun and creativity of a virtual world.  The other camp are people being pushed; taking to the comfort of a digital life as a distraction.  Of course, like all generalizations, these distinctions can be fluid; one is not inherently better than the other, but certainly lines can be crossed into negative behavior and your mileage may vary.   So the question is this, dear reader, what is it for you?  Do you feel pushed or pulled into your digital life?

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Where the Heart Is

August 20, 2010

I’m a bit of a virtual nomad.  Yes, I’ve moved my home again in Second Life.  In my almost three years in Second Life, I’ve had six different locations that I’ve set as home.  No, this post isn’t about owning virtual property but more about what home means to me in Second Life and why I’ve grown to love moving around to new sims. (As much as anyone owns land in SL; I like to think of it more as a long-term lease like the United States has with the military base at Guantanamo Bay but that’s another post altogether)  As time has passed, I’ve grown to enjoy moving more and more.  Why, you ask?  Part of it is about creativity and expression, but the other is the simple reason is that in a world where we can live anywhere and have any sort of home, I don’t want to stick with one option all the time.

I very much enjoy having a virtual home.  I find that it is another way to express myself and enjoy the creativity that Second Life has to offer.  Part of it is that I enjoy all that goes into setting one up; I like shopping for homes, furniture, and other digital goodies for my house that seem to match the feel of the property.  Yet I also buy into the feeling of place in Second Life.  Having a place I call home feels comforting to me and my virtual space becomes a haven that feels safe and cozy and mine.

One interesting thing about  my tendency to move is that at first blush, it counters my interest in building community in Second Life.  I’ve found this to not exactly be true.  While sometimes place and proximity matters in building community while it is also possible to have a network and community of friends scattered around the grid.  As I’ve moved around, I’ve made new friends in each new sim; often developing close friendships with new neighbors I wouldn’t have otherwise met.  Yet as I’ve moved to new locations, these relationships have often (but not always) grown and developed further.  Ultimately, I’ve found that my nomadic tendencies has built virtual community for me more than detracted from it.

I know my approach to homes in Second Life is far from universal.  I’ve got friends who have lived in the same sim during their entire Second Life experience; becoming rooted in place and declaring their property their homestead.  Conversely, there are also those opposed to having a virtual home at all.  They prefer squatting or popping from place to place without the additional expense of paying tier.  So, what about you, dear reader, how have you approached your home in Second Life?  Do you stay put or move about?  What does have a place you call home mean to you?