Is Second Life Real?
Well of course not.
Or is it?
Exactly how much reality is there in this wonderful place we call Second Life?
I am a regular visitor to welcome areas, often researching articles, or helping out some of those who get trapped there while not knowing how to change appearance, control their avatar or move to other areas. A common factor involved in the newbie experience is the lack of instruction on what they are expected to do. They often come expecting that there are specific aims and levels to work through as if they were in a computer game.
The big reality about Second Life is its mirroring of real life. Not all we see in a mirror is exactly like its real counterpart, but there is great correlation. The thing that all newbies (as well as us oldies!) must NEVER forget is that behind each avatar (bar the odd clever script) is a real, living, breathing and (usually) thinking person.
Whatever you type or say to an avatar on Second Life it may well be taken literally. Be careful newbies! If you treat the people in Second life like computer generated characters, it can lead to misunderstanding and unpleasantness. Always try and deal with strangers in Second life as you would with strangers in real life. In return you will find the vast majority of Second Lifers to be pleasant and helpful. In the coming months I am hoping to deal with aspects of this Second Life “reality” and to try and collect impressions that both newbies and oldies have about such things as Griefing, Linden Labs Terms of Service, Partners/adultery, Drama, Racism, Sexism…..and any other isms that rear their ugly heads. I am going to start next time with Griefing (online harassment usually as a “joke” but sometimes very malicious and destructive. If anyone has tales of griefing or being griefed, or anyone who has information that might be useful to newbies in particular, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org in plenty of time for the September Issue.