Saturday, June 20, 2009

What the L Were We Thinking?!

When you create an avatar in Second Life, you can make your first name anything you want, but—unless you pay Linden Labs a big heap of money!—you only get to pick your last name from a list of a few dozen available at the time. It's not like avatars with the same last names have any particular kinship, but the Lindens seem to rotate last names out of use when enough people have them. So, a last name can be an indicator of an avatar's age: I haven't run into many other "Netizens," but we all appear to have started in Second Life at about the same time.

The upshot is that there's a lot of importance to an avatar's first name. Someone's last name may have just been the least dorky choice available at the time (Lou raises her hand), but a first name is something they fully chose for themselves. In my case that was easy—my real life name is Lou (well, Louise), and I didn't see a reason to go with anything else. But when you see someone going around with a first name like "Dingbat" or "HunterKiller"…they're kind of telling you something.

Some members of the L Gang (left to right):
Lette Ponnier, Laertes Parx, Lucinda Dollinger, moi, Lacey Lukas, Lillian Shippe, Lotus Ceriano, and Lebn Bucyk

In the Second Life trivia community, however, there seems to be a bit of a pattern: a bunch of us have names that begin with the letter L! I don't know when it was first noticed—several months ago at this point—but at some games, particularly on the weekends, there would sometimes be a small herd of us "L" people. It becomes particularly obvious when we all answer a question one after another—the chat log is filled with names beginning with L. At games that give multiple prizes per question (say, first, second, and third) having L people get all three is now called an "L Sweep." We joke amongst ourselves about L-Power, "Giving them L!," and pretend we're in some sort of secret gang society.

I don't quite know where the idea came from, but at some point someone suggested we should get all the L's together in one place for a group portrait. Well, this weekend it happened! Lillian Shippe graciously donated the use of her gorgeous house in Nippon, and a bunch of us were able to show up to "say cheese!" The theme was a slumber party—so fuzzy slippers and pyjamas were the norm—and we had a hysterically bizarro time trying to manage poses and get everyone into shots on furniture. In the end, the simplest thing was probably the best: we all lined up again a (or atop) a bannister and tried to face the camera. More (and better!) pictures are coming, I'm sure, from Lillian and others, but I couldn't resist getting one group portrait out into the world on my own. So there we are: the L's! (Unlike most of the pictures I post on this blog, you can click the group shot for a larger version.)

Next, we fully expect the "C's" to do their own group photo. After that…obviously we'll need to start making matching leather jackets so we can tell each other apart when we rumble!

Beep bebeep beep beep! UPDATE: Lillian Shippe has posted her candid screenshots of the L's on her Flickr site; this one and this one seem to have been her faves!

1 comment:

  1. Matching leather jackets with the Laverne "L" on the chest. Teehee!


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