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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Second Life: What Keeps Us Coming Back For More? - Nehem Resident Reporting…




Second Life is full of activities, events, role play, and more. We often find that we just can’t get enough, but what keeps us so interested? 

Virtual life on the grid is a bustling blur of daily work for many. It can be both enjoyable and fulfilling, and you can achieve your greatest dreams. It is a place of freedom, where you can be your true self without the worries of what others may think.  For some, second life has an even deeper meaning.  Avatars keep coming back because of the connections, love, and even the ability to communicate with others due to the inability to get out in real life. 

I got to speak with some amazing people to find out just why second life means so much to them, and what keeps them coming back for more. I had them write their reasons in their own words. You can see the differences in culture not only in the answers, but in their writing style as well. 





Spring.Moonites 

Spring is a fun-loving girl who logged into second life for the first time out of sheer curiosity, and stayed for family. 


Nehem: First off, tell me a little about yourself and your SL journey:
" I have been in SL for almost 5 years, if you would have asked me when I first started if I thought I would be here 5 years later I would have probably said no (haha). I have met lots of people and formed lifelong friendships.  SL allows me to do things that I would NEVER do in RL"

Nehem: What brought you to second life?   
"I used to play a virtual game and it got boring to me. I had a friend that had left that game to come to SL and they told me about it, so I created my account, checked it out... and never left lol"

Nehem: What keeps you logging on each day?
“My friends and family keep me coming back every day.  SL is not a game to me, its part of my life... It allows me to spend time with those I love and care about especially since I can't spend time with them in RL."

Nehem: Why do you think a diverse culture plays such an important role in SL?

“It allows people from all walks of life to come together in a world where they don't have to worry about being judged for their beliefs or looks.  It's a world full of different cultures and we can learn and grow from it."


Teenybop Resident
Teeny is a loving mother and caretaker in the real world seeking friendship. She entered the world of Second Life to find it. 


Nehem: Please tell me a little about yourself and your SL journey. 
"I am a 32 year old mother of 3 married in rl. My girls r the most important people in my life. I came to SL to make new friends n meet some new friends n love the friends n family that I have in sl they r all the best. "


Nehem: Why do you think a diverse culture plays such an important role in sl?: 

"I think it plays a good role cuz u get to learn about the different cultures n u get to meet a lot of different people around world."



Placeboqueen.Solo

Placeboqueen.solo (better known as ASH in the virtual world), is a hard-working dancer, who loves her second life and all the new experiences it has given her, she discovered Bloodlines, and loves it! 


Nehem: First off, tell me a little about yourself and your sl journey:
" I have been playing SL for just over 5 years my main avie is queenlestat destiny. I did not know about bloodlines game when I joined."

Nehem: What brought you to second life? 
“I saw a TV program about it, thought is as sad lol then I started playing it"

Nehem: What keeps you logging on each day? :
 "something to do as I am stuck at home most days"

Nehem: Why do you think a diverse culture plays such an important role in sl?:
"no, only when it comes to sex it seems everything goes where that goes, however where are the Asian, Black and so forth avies?"

Feather Fallen

Feather is a spunky ball energy. She is a fun and fantastic creator in second life too, with a passion for horses! Feather had a ton to tell us! So she summed up all the questions into one: 

Nehem: Tell me a bit about your SL journey! 
 


"I came to SL in March of 2007 ( as Ayanna Slade  ) - dragged kicking and screaming from a family oriented MMORPG by a friend so we could socialize as adults, share emails and links and such. Uncensored! :)  I think I logged in a few hours the first three weeks but I didn't quite “get it" at first.  I did some reading about SL when I had time, was working full  time + 30 at that point in my life... and eventually I logged in to try  again, with big dreams of making something!  I couldn't quite wrap my head around prims, but texturing was lots of fun!  I decided to have a go at making clothes, started with a written tutorial, very simple but that was all I needed!  Working with, I believe, Photoshop 5 (not CS) which I'd never used before, I cut my teeth on my first few simple outfits.  Rented a little shop and put those two outfits up for sale.  What a learning curve everything was!  Very intense and varied enough to hold my (short) attention span.  The feeling when I sold my first outfit was incredible, my creations were validated!  Wanted!  I had done something others liked! I reached a point in my life where things hit rock bottom mentally and the only buoy I had was SL.  I couldn't go out RL without major panic attacks; I was deeply depressed only getting out of bed for necessities or to work on creations.  I gave up all my old friendships RL, realizing that those people weren't really my friends and didn’t understand me.  No hard feelings, just life evolving as it does.  I found that the "pool" of possible friends in SL was enormous compared to who I might meet RL, and I have found and met the most wonderful people in SL.  People from different continents, cultures, backgrounds etc.  I was able to carefully select friends that had similar ethics to my own.  SL has had its ups and downs,
but I believe there is a silver lining in everything that comes our way, it is up to us to find it :) At some point, a friend introduced me to breedable horses, and that was the end of my career as a clothing creator!  My lifelong dream was to breed and show horses, and I was actually able to fulfill it!  I spend many hours working with the horses every day, research and hard work culminating in what I believe to be some of the prettiest horses in SL!
I cannot speak of SL without mentioning the healing journey it has been for me.  I have one very special friend that has helped me overcome: Insecurity & Self-Hate, who has 
encouraged me to try new things, to believe in myself and so much more!
I came to SL a doormat, a reject in RL as I'm different - I walk through SL & RL now, with my head held high, feeling secure in just knowing who I am and that it is okay to be me :) That's not to say all the others who have touched my SL haven’t given something to me, because each of them have taught me things about life & love & living.
I live simply now, working with the horses, making bits and pieces of things I need or can't find! Socializing when I have time which isn’t' often!  I have children so school hours are my only chance to be logged in and "here"!  I love to help others, also!  I don’t' always have the time to help so much, but when I can lend a hand or a word of advice, I don’t' hesitate to do so.  There is so much to learn, I enjoy passing on knowledge gained when & where I can! "



Lyric.Luckless


Lyric is an amazing Second life creator, diving into the world of clothing; she loves her friends and family!


Nehem: First off, tell me a little about yourself and your sl journey: 

"My SL journey took off in November of 2009 under my original avi, whom no longer walks the grid. I came here to role play with friends but like other might experience I became over stimulated in this great big world and needed to step back from the clans, clubs & cliks. So after taking some time off I returned to SL after a friend offered me her old avie, Lyric. I started somewhere different the second time around and started learning to build. I established my first store in late 2010, and then was hired as a photographer for a beach magazine, slowly honing my photographic eye. Most of 2011 & 2012 were spent learning to make new things like clothes, jewelry, and accessories. When I emerged from the learning process I had a revamped store line, new supporters and a small but dedicated following. I am happy and grateful for the experiences I have had to this point, good bad & otherwise. I am looking forward to but bracing for what the future holds next. =)"


Nehem: What brought you to second life? : 


"I was stumbled upon Second Life while searching for role play platforms with my best-friend Mai. I had never gone for role play in this direction but was instantly taken in on how this whole place was created by people like Mai and I. Funny how fast be became shopping fanatics... us two chicks who were anti-mall. The sim hopping was the best. Found out just how quick I loved to take photographs. I RPed for a time but came to find my love here in SL was building and exploring. Almost 4 years later I still travel somewhere new every day. I don't think I will ever stop being fascinated with what I find."


Nehem: What keeps you logging on each day? : 

"Creativity, curiosity and family. I wake up with my head swimming of ideas for new creations and ventures. How can I push myself today? It's a challenge every time I hit that log in button, but the reward is overflowing constantly. Plus logging in to do the creep with the fam is awesome. <3"


Nehem: Why do you think a diverse culture plays such an important role in sl?:

"Just like in RL Second Life is a melting pot of cultures, peoples, and styles. I think this merging of components is what gives SL its appeal and never-ending exploratory pull. I know of many people that think of SL as a learning tool. Not because they are using it to learn a trade or dabble in its endless resources, but because they can log in at any given time of day and learn something they didn't know before. It could be about a place, event, period of time, people, or simply a statement that shows a person's opinion or cause. Chances are though you log out having learned something new, just by teleporting to a place you have never been before. Without all of us, from all over the globe communicating, sharing and learning from one another, I am not sure SL would be quite the same...or even at all. "


There are so many reasons second life plays a role in our hearts and minds.  Talking with different people, with diverse backgrounds and cultures shows us just how real it can get, and how many amazing reasons there are to be a part of the virtual world.
Reactions:

4 comments:

  1. Love the article but I think you left out one MAJOR reason most people come to SL. 67% of the people who use SL. is disabled and use SL to live out dreams they have had but never been able to do due to a disability keeping them from it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Anonymous, Great point to bring up. you are right there could have been more emphasis on those with disabilities that are unable to get out in real life. Thank you for bringing that to our attention. I will make sure we cover that in upcoming news!

    -Lanai

    ReplyDelete
  3. Something interesting I have found in some recent recearch on, believe it or not, breedable horse eyes (I'm an auctioneer laughs and need all the knowledge I can get) is the RL work that is being down in SL on autism studies and with autistic folks... that would make an AWESOME article.. or three!!! Hugs!! Elie Back

    ReplyDelete
  4. I worked in the mental health field for years and I've found too many people don't realize mental illness is one of our society's most prevalent disabilities. It takes over lives - yes, some medicines help - but getting the right balance is a game of chance at best. Most people suffer quietly. Hurray for Second Life! It has given many the chance to anonymously talk about what they are ashamed to admit (in RL) with a close SL friend. I found a friend's hand was more helpful than a chair sitting across from a psychiatrist.


    ReplyDelete

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