Ever since I plucked up the courage to sign up to Second Life some 3 summers ago, one thing never fails to amaze me. The class of idiot you get in SL is something else. Those no-life douche bags and all round bampots who blue waffle their way from day to day, hoping for a life, a job and, maybe, just maybe, a girlfriend. The very same people who have no happiness in their lives, so set about making others’ lives hell too. Note how I never included the abbreviations RL nor SL in the previous remark; simply because the line between RL and SL is usually (to quote the waiter played by John Cleese in the Monty Python film “The Meaning Of Life”) “waffer theen”. People try and distance their real lives and their virtual ones and, to their credit, most do, or do a damn fine job! Or, at least, do a damn fine job of pretending to. Who’s to know anyway?
But I digress gentle reader, however I promise I’ll mop it up after, as long as you respect me in the morning.
So why should people get upset when something happens online that we don’t like? When there are things such as block/kick/bank or simply ignoring people. Well, some people just aren’t that strong to simply forget about it. As we all know, behind my avatar, behind your avatar and everyone else’s avatar, there’s a real human being. Flesh, blood, bones…the lot. Not every human being has the capacity to easily block out the shock from seeing or hearing things said or done to them or others.
Take a very close friend of mine, we’ll call her Alison for the sake of this story. Ali is, quite frankly, one of the most beautiful people I know, both physically and mentally. She recently split from her SL partner after he became insanely jealous about her for no reason. He accused her of sleeping around and whoring herself about, simply because she never jumped into his IM’s as quick as he wanted. Alison is a businesswoman in SL and she has put thousands of hours and dollars into making her business a success and she was in pieces after not only abusing her directly, but indirectly through others. The once unflappable Alison was starting to show signs of crumbling. With the support of her friends, she didn’t get to the point where she broke, but she wasn’t her usual self for a few days. The words of one person caused the mighty to become a shadow and that, in my opinion, should be treated with the contempt it deserves, only tenfold. How dare anyone think they can take a beautiful person, monkey with her feelings and toss her aside!
But none of it is real is it?
Sadly, despite being a bunch of pixels and prims, it’s very real, and it’s widespread. The ass-hats are coming, batten down the hatches boys! As I’ve said before, every avatar has a human, and we all still bleed if your prick us. Alison is, thankfully, back to her old sassy self and has described “it” (him) as “nothing more than something to do”. She has showed remarkable grace by not retaliating. She has simply been boosted by her friends and has moved on with her life. Some people, aren’t so lucky.
Another friend, Diana, quit Second Life for good after taking years of abuse at the hands of the ass-hat brigade. But hers is a slightly different story. Diana is one tough lady. She will tell you things plain and simple from day 1. If she doesn’t like you or gets the wrong vibe from you, that’s it.
This aside, the trolls in their various shapes and sizes (and levels of density) used to try and trip her up and she enjoyed nothing more than troll bashing of an evening. She was the kindest woman I ever had the pleasure of knowing in Second Life but she decided to stop being an idiot’s play-toy and lost interest in Second Life completely in Feb 2014. Last I heard she runs a catering company in Montana and she’s “doing rather well thank you”.
Sitting in my home, slowly working my way through a pack of Banana Twinkies, listening to Crosby Stills and Nash’s epic 1979 album “Chicago Sunroof”, I despair for human kind, especially the species that frequents virtual worlds and infects people with their poison. The ultimate test of whether these lunatics survive is whether Linden Labs can man-up and start taking positive steps to kill it before it grows. “Oh but I have First Amendment rights! You can’t take that away from me!”
However, I don’t see anywhere in any constitution or state of law in America or any other country that gives you the right to ruin other peoples happiness for the sake of you getting your kicks. In fact, if you want to start quoting century’s old documents, shall we start quoting the bible?
No, I didn’t think so.