Monday, January 19, 2009

Lou Netizen, Ignorant Fuddy Duddy

I'm having one of those moments where I think I must be one of the most boring, uninspired, and ignorant people in Second Life. Every time I log in—when I can log in, SL has been having problems with that lately—I become more and more aware of what I don't know about SL culture, how the service works, what people do, and what's exciting about Second Life.

From my perspective, I try to log in, I try to attend a few events where I might be able to talk to some of my friends, and often I try to pull my sky platform out of my virtual pocket to work on those jewelry commissions (which, yes, I know, I should have been done with a month ago). But every time I venture out of my little bubble—or sometimes even just return to an area of my little bubble—there's something or someone new or important and I've been completely out of the loop. Everyone else in in SL seems so much more clued-in. It's not that they're "older" and have been in Second Life longer: some of these folks only have a few months on me, and some are younger! There are fundamental things—probably many fundamental things—about Second Life I just can't pick up on.

Sure, finding clothes and decking out an avatar is one of them: I just can't seem to catch a break with that. Some people are different every time I see them, and some people can dress up on-the-fly to match the theme of events or contests. I'm lucky if I can find pants! And, as one might expect in a virtual world, some people play fast and loose and wacky and whimsical with their avatars. One of my best friends is a cat; here we are playing trivia with a cartoon bear:

But throw an event with a "redneck picnic" theme (or similar…I don't remember what it was) and you get people like Zel and Duncan—they're not a couple (I don't think!), but all evening I was mentally referring to them as The Shotgun Wedding:

Not trying to throw myself a pity party here: as frustrating as Second Life can be (don't get me started about SL's so-called "programming environment"!) I have fun and I've met great people. But I'm puzzled and confused as to why so many people are so much more in-the-loop than me…and I don't even know where to begin. So many residents seem to have no trouble expressing themselves in Second Life, and they find great and creative ways to do it. But it's almost all I can do to get to a couple events with hair on my head and pretend I understand what people are talking about.

Maybe I just need more sleep. Lots going on in real life lately…sigh.


  1. Prims are sometimes used to accentuate or make up for a lack of brainpower to create words versus express ones own creativity. Any idiot with money can go buy a new outfit in five minutes that looks amazing, they usually didn't make it. Words are the most important component in SL , you can get by never changing your clothes and still manage to express yourself well - look at that red shirt and khakis guy, or the white cat ;)

  2. Well, as we both know, the white cat is really one heck of a complex outfit, with both the visible (and invisible) parts being prims. And both the kitty and red-polo-and-khakis boy have no trouble expressing themselves, I agree.

    It's just frustrating that SL seems to be all about "you can be anything you want" and "you can create anything you want" but the reality seems to be "if you pull a lot of tricks, cut a lot of corners, turn the lights down, and squint real hard, you can *kind of* make *something* that *resembles* what you want from a few angles. Wait, don't move, or it'll fall apart!" :(


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