This week we were tasked with learning about the Virtual World, Second Life. To start, an avatar is created. When choosing an avatar there are many different options; from humans, to vampires, or werewolves, a dragon, or other animals and more. I chose a woman with brown hair, since that was the most like me. I first signed up for Second Life on February First, to give myself a week to play around and figure out the world.
Within the first week, I received four emails about the game. If I was super interested in the game, maybe I wouldn’t have found this irritating, but since I am only mildly interested, it was very frustrating to get this much mail in one week. If I ever get this much email from a company I would unsubscribe immediately due to lack of interest and reconsider shopping there in the future. However, in this case it reminded me to go in and check out what was going on in the world.
I spent a lot of time trying to talk to people. I traveled from destination to destination exploring different parts of the world, and whenever I came across someone I would say hello to try and initiate a conversation. To the right is one of the only replies that I got. Most people completely ignored me, even though I would stand there for 5-10 minutes to see if maybe they had gone to get a drink and would come back. Some people would walk away, and some people just turned their back on me. It was very frustrating, so I tried to go to more landing destinations since that is where there were more active chats happening and I would say hello and even ask if there was someplace a beginning should go, and no-one responded to me. This was not a great experience since if I was truly interested in joining this world, I would be very discouraged at this point.
Another difficult part I found, in the beginning was figuring out how to move. I am not a gamer, and really only play games that either see my body, like Xbox 360 Kinect, or Mario Party where the avatars move for me. Due to that, I had a hard time figure out how to move my body. There was a lot of awkward motion, running into walls, getting stuck in a wall and having to figure out how to turn around and get out. At one point I also got completely stuck in a forest for about 20 minutes, as shown below.
This to me was very complicated, until I figured out how to fly. Flying was so much easier for me! While I learned how to walk around a lot easier as I played more, I really enjoyed being able to fly and see the various places from above and then see something interesting and decide to walk around. Flying, to me was probably one of the most enjoyable parts of this assignment.
Here is my avatar learning how to fly.
When flying and changing destinations, I found a lot of interesting places. Stores to buy clothing in, dance clubs where I could animate my avatar to dance, and other buildings to see. There was also an insane asylum I went to that was made to look very creepy, as well as places where I could just lounge around if I wanted. I went to all of these places, and did various things, getting a drink from the bartender at a club and lounging on a tiger striped hammock in front of a store. What I found interesting though, was that not everything was open to the public. As I flew around, and walked from building to building, occasionally a wall of yellow lines would pop up and tell me that I could not enter since I was not invited. This was intriguing, since it showed me that even in this world, there are smaller micro communities that are very selective about who is invited.
One of the more interesting things places that I went to was a building next to a church that had this:
I found it pretty cool that even though I was in a virtual world where everyone is so in charge in their own lives, there is something that is more powerful. Although, I do wonder that if I had named my avatar God, would I have been able to touch it? I think it was a pretty cool sun system as well. It went around in a circle on the table and was just an interesting feature overall.
All in all I found the virtual world an interesting place, but not one that I will be partaking in. Maybe if I had had more luck with interacting with people it may be different, but since that was not the case, I will have to say that I will be sticking to my First Life.