Posts Tagged ‘Community culture’

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All the virtual world’s a stage

September 17, 2009

Salvatore

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

name

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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This must be the place (naive post)

August 12, 2009

community

Just what does community mean in Second Life?  Yes, I know we’re nearing the start of the Second Life Community Convention (and no, you won’t see me there), but sometimes it seems to me that Second Life has the community feel of, oh, the Balkans maybe?  I’m being flip by comparing it to the Balkans, but for the most part community in Second Life feels like bunches of small groups that maybe – just maybe – overlap with one another.  But more than just being a world that seems to embrace community in micro-groups, the concepts of community feels fragile and cliquey in Second Life.

Lanna, you’ve already sorta mentioned the Talking Heads; please don’t tell me you start singing Kumbaya after the jump.  Pretty please?  Read on to find out… Read the rest of this entry ?

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Do I still have egg on my face?

August 9, 2009

egg

As happens to all of us, my first life has gotten a little busy.  I had great designs on a couple of posts and pretty much have not had the time.  So what’s a blogger to do?  Recycle a really old post!  Cheating, you say?  Given the circumstances of this one, I’m going with no.  Well over a year and a half ago, I did a few guest posts on my dear friend Kit’s now defunct blog, Second Life, First Person.  Don’t try to look for them, she’s taken all of the posts down except for her final goodbye.  Thankfully, one of these posts still seemed relevant after a little updating.  Since most of you probably never saw the original, I’m not too embarrassed to recycle it.  So here goes:

I had an interesting moment while recently chatting with some friends. I was juggling general chat and multiple IM conversations at the same time and — you guessed it — typed a comment intended for one person into general chat. Fortunately, it was a silly remark that I was able to play off pretty easily, but I found myself feeling a bit embarrassed. This got me thinking, how come there seem to be so few truly embarrassing moments in Second Life?

In the atomic world, I am good for at least one embarrassing moment per month. They are usually small “Well, that was stupid!” sorts of things. (We’re not talking anything like the most embarrassing moment in my first life. I can laugh about it now, but was horrified at the time… all I’ll say here is that it involved Chinese food, a conference call, and a colleague’s hotel room.) But how can something that we almost take for granted in the atomic world be that much more rare in the digital world?

Do I embarrass myself with this post? Keep reading after the jump to find out…

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/me doesn’t understand…

August 2, 2009

hmmmmIf you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might have figured out that I overthink things every once in a while.  Well, way too often.  Okay, all the time.  I can’t help myself.  The little hamster gets running on her wheel and can’t stop.  Overthinking is hardly a panacea, but sometimes it does help me create some sort of understanding for myself.  When something occurs, I reflexively find myself dissecting things in my feverish little head, trying to figure out what happened.

Well, some commonly experienced things in Second Life make me feel as frightened and confused as an Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.   But after nearly two years in Second Life, there are a number of things I simply won’t ever understand.  Don’t get me wrong, I can put some rationales around them, but somehow my brain starts feeling marshmallow-like when I think too hard about them.  Want to know what transcends explanation?  What gets the hamsters in my head wishing they could be fired for excessive absenteeism?  Join me after the jump if you’re curious about what I don’t understand!

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How not to suck, if you can swallow it.

July 30, 2009

eventsOkay, I’ll admit it, the idea for my recent posts about events in Second Life started as a rant.  For the longest time, I’ve been frustrated that gems of events get lost among a sea of…well, let’s just say things that turn out not to even be events.  After writing the first one, I wanted to write a blistering rant that went off on all of the things that people do when creating events that contribute to the dreck.  The more I played with drafts of this post, the more I realized that the classic comic character Pogo had it right: ” We have met the enemy and he is us.”  If we can all be thoughtful about what events we choose to participate in or how we  approach planning events, the more likely that we are to see fewer bad events.  So instead of a rant, I’ve decided to write about what makes a good event and some ways to find them.

I’ve come to believe that there are three important factors that contribute to good events in Second Life.  They are:

  • Quality of content;
  • Opportunity for interaction; and
  • Thoughtful planning.

Want to know more?  Curious about what makes a good event?  Tune in after the jump for more details with a few examples!

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But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for!

July 25, 2009

Searching

One of my favorite things about Second Life is that something is always happening.  I’ve always had moments where I’m afraid I’ll something, so I found myself being reluctant to log-off when I first came to SL for fear that an even better event was going to start.   I’ve certainly overcome that feeling in SL even though there is still no shortage of events   Sure, it is easy to find something to do, but finding something good to do?  It can be too damn hard sometimes.

I’m even going to start with a moment of immodesty.  I’m pretty confident that I am more familiar with ways to find events in SL than the majority of residents from having  covered events for New World Notes for much of last year.   Through that experience, I came to believe that finding good events in SL is a little like shopping at T.J. Maxx (a.k.a T.K Maxx for my European friends!) only nowhere near as satisfying.  In both instances, you have to wade through piles of things to find just what you want but you feel excited if you find a bargain on something you love while shopping and are just plain annoyed at having to work so hard to find an event.

There are a couple of reasons why finding an event can be so challenging and I’ve broken them up into two posts.  The first post talks about structural problems and the second highlights cultural issues with having good events.  Curious about the structural problems?  Read on after the jump to find out!

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