Your lips move, but I can’t hear what you’re saying…

January 27, 2010

As you can see, I took that good long nap after my last post.  It has been a great rest, one that I sorely needed.  Part of my rest included taking a break from Second Life, too.  I’ve been back in-world for a little bit of time now, and simply enjoying myself and not taking things too seriously.   As people who know me will attest, it is hard for me to keep quiet, though.  So I’ve decided that rather than permanent retirement of this blog, I’ll post when the mood strikes me.  If you can stand gaps between posts, I hope you’ll keep reading.  🙂

Part of enjoying myself has been visiting new places and meeting new people.  This has been great fun; I’ve made many new friends and encountered some fascinating people.   Sure, just as in our first lives, it is easy to meet people, but difficult to people with whom you truly connect. I’ve noticed something very interesting, though.  I find that within four or five lines of text, I tend to get a sense if there is any potential for a connection with a person.   And, at the same time, I also get a sense if I might need to hit the mute button, too.  Are you nuts, Lanna?  Do you really know these things in just a few seconds?  Peek after the jump to find out! Read the rest of this entry »


Apocalypse When?

September 28, 2009


A Welcome Center.  Shit.  I logged into a Welcome Center.  Every time I log in I think I’m gonna rez at my home but my sim must be down.   When I was in my second life, I wanted to be in my first.  When I was  in my first, all I could think of was getting back in-world.  Every minute I’m stuck in this Welcome Center, I get antsier.  Everyone gets everything she wants in Second Life. I wanted a project, and for my sins they gave me  one. Brought it up to me like room service.

A few months back, I was hit with an idea as I watched the Apocalypse Now.  Why not try to make a version of Apocalypse Now based in Second Life?  What really put the hook in me was a sentence in the opening narration.  Captain Willard (a young Martin Sheen) was waking up in his Saigon hotel room and talking about his return to Vietnam for a second tour of duty.  The line that got me was this:

When I was here, I wanted to be there. When I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle.

Why did it hook me?  Because it reminded me of moments of my experiences with Second Life.  Of the times where I was in my first life and wishing I could be in my second.  Then times in my second life where I was feeling the good pull from my atomic world.  This, of course, got me thinking.  What about a Second Life version of Apocalypse Now or Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness?  (and for those of you who didn’t know, Apocalypse Now is a loose retelling of Heart of Darkness)   I found that I was thinking about what was common to those stories and linking them to SL; telling a tale of a  lead character set on a journey for Kurtz in Second Life, but going deeper and deeper into her darker places.  Done well, I thought the SL version could be a fascinating comic, machinima, blog with pictures, just about anything.

So why are you writing about an idea that you never did anything about, Lanna?  Because, just like Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now, I got the mission I wanted.  And when it was over, I would never want another.  What mission was that you say?  Look after the jump to find out.

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Where did you want to go today?

September 26, 2009

Yadni's wonderful and eclectic junkyard.

Looking for something entertaining to try?  Look to your inventory!  No, I’m not suggesting that sorting your inventory is a fun pastime (although I suspect it is for some) but you can look to some of your older items to see what you will find!  Despite having a few moments of ruthless sorting and management of some notecards, objects and freebies I’ll never use, most of what I’ve ever taken into my inventory is still in there somewhere.  The great thing is that it makes for an archeological record of my time in Second Life.  So, out of a touch of nostalgia, fun and curiosity, I decided to revisit my first ten landmarks in SL.

Where did I go?  What did I find?  Peek after the jump to find out!

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The Velveteen Avatar

September 21, 2009


Margery Williams wrote The Velveteen Rabbit back in 1922.  It is a moving story about a boy’s velveteen rabbit and love; you really should have a look if haven’t read this classic of children’s literature yet.  While reading it the other day, I couldn’t help but ask questions about Second Life after the following conversation between the Velveteen Rabbit and the Skin Horse:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

My avatar is a collection of pixels that I’ve customized and there is a person with a very full first life behind the keyboard.  But Lanna also lives a very rich, but parallel life that by Skin Horse standards makes her real.  So my question is this, dear readers, do you believe that the Skin Horse’s definition of Real exist in Second Life?  Has your avatar become Real?


All the virtual world’s a stage

September 17, 2009


To say that roleplay (RP) is a popular activity in Second Life might be a bit of an understatement; there may be more roleplay communities in SL than there alts cruising around on Zindra.  If you’re so inclined, you could find just about any sort of roleplay imaginable.  Steampunk, Gor, Firefly, high school, dystopian future, and more than can possibly mentioned here.  It is a little difficult to say just how many Second Life residents are involved in roleplay communities.  The only way to estimate is by looking at the number of members in RP groups and even then it is tough to assume you’ve accounted for overlapping membership.  Let’s just say there are lots of residents involved, somewhere between 30,000-50,000 people. Given the popularity of RP in SL, I thought it would be interesting to learn more about it.

Salvatore Otoro didn’t come to Second Life for roleplay, but has become an eloquent advocate for RP.   Salvatore is not only an active member of the City of Lost Angels RP community, he also runs the Second Life Roleplay blog and writes for ROLE Magazine.  The Second Life Roleplay blog is a fantastic resource on the ins and outs of RP; among other things, there are examples of good and bad RP, lists of RP sims, and a section on roleplay 101.  I was very happy that Salvatore agreed to chat about RP with me.

/me smiles and points excitedly to the jump and says, “I really hope you’ll read on to see what Salvatore had to say about RP in SL!”

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What’s in a name?

September 15, 2009


This may come as a shock, but my name is not Charlanna in my first life.  I think it is a pretty name and it has meaning for me, but I might have put a little more thought into it if I knew that I was making a final choice.  A few months back, I had someone named Charlanna in her first life follow me on Twitter which I thought was cool and a little fun.  Yet shortly afterward, she sent me a direct message asking me why I “stole” her name.   Her question surprised me and got a hearty guffaw, but got me thinking, too.   What if my name were Charlanna in the atomic world?  Would she still think I stole it?  Or just think it was cool that we shared a unique name?  I really think her questions of my great name caper came because I had the opportunity to choose it.

Does that which we call a rose smell so sweet by any other name?  Just how much do I share about my name? Does naming matter in Second Life?  Read on after the jump!

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And she’ll have fun fun fun…

September 11, 2009

Chakryn for twitter

It is hard for me to believe that I’ve spent two years in Second Life, especially since I initially checked it out because of a healthy dose of skepticism.  Of course, I’ve had myriad ideas of navel gazing blog posts on the subject of two years in Second Life but somehow they didn’t feel quite right.  So what do I do?  Seek inspiration from a well-worn first life behavior that has driven some professional colleagues a little batty.  You see, the moment any project I’ve been working on has been completed, I always ask “how could we have done this better?”  After seeing people react like they have ataxia, I’ve gotten better about this and recognize where people need a little time giving each other high fives before they look to making the next thing better.  So, after two years, I have to ask myself: If I want to stay in SL, how can I make my virtual life better?

I have to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time!  Better look after the jump to see!

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