Meme instructions: Make a one minute video at your favorite Second Life location and/or answer the following questions and share what your perception is of Second Life. If you do a video, upload it to youtube or flickr. If you upload it to flickr, please add it to the Blog Memes Flickr Group and don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments.
I don't have tools to record video, nor my computer would allow for creating a decent one, so instead, I will answer the questions. (Surprised?)
- What is your perception of Second Life?
Despite almost all of my online time is devoted to working, I see Second Life as a safe place where I can play my fantasy without any real (physical) damage. I can switch appearances to take pictures without the risks of plastic surgery. I can teleport without having to worry about where I'll park the car, or if the metro will be too crowded, and explore a slice of others' minds and their fantasies. It's my private window, to observe behaviour.
- Do you feel the portrayal or reputation Second Life seems to have in the mainstream media is justified?
This is the question why I wanted to make the challenge.
I feel this is an unfair question. I would ask this question instead: Why a virtual world where adult activities can be performed, such as sex, deserves any kind of bad reputation?
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but sex is part, and an important one, of our real lives. Shaming sex activities in a virtual world isn't but the reflection of the mindset that sex in the real world is also a dirty thing that should only happen in complete darkness, closed blinds, between two heterosexual people and strictly to create new babies.
/me rolls eyes
Some people are fighting hard to explain that sex isn't something dirty, and not something to practice necessarily to create babies. Even more: sex can happen among more than just two people, and also with people of the same gender. In fact, when it happens among consenting partners, it's a wonderful experience. It can be done purely for pleasure, or to show affection. It can be done alone, whether it is for relief, looking for that pleasure, wanting to fantasize...
IMAGE: Perception of Second Life, in Flickr
The thing is, sex exists, people have sex, and shaming a virtual world that replicates in so many other aspects the real one, because there's sex in it, isn't but a sign of a sick society that is ashamed of the nature of its individuals: humans. Guess what? Those humans have sex. Grow up and get used to it, because sex is more pleasurable and safe when there's no guilt to enjoy it (among consenting partners). I think it's crazy that some people need to hide just because they're humans and want sex.
It's true that there are many amazing places that aren't related with adult activities (euphemism for sex), and they are worth visiting. They really are. (I'm a fan of art exhibits and nature places, for example). But I think we do no favor to virtual worlds, and to the real world, if in defending those amazing places to visit, we imply in any way that we're ashamed about the existence of sex places in the virtual world.
Journalists with no involvement in Second Life will continue to do a poor job and point at the sex places as if they were the only places to go, and of course, the devil, because society is an hypocritical beast that shames and condemns sex, while at the same time, sells it. It's our task to show them the beauty of the virtual world and the beauty of sex.
There's more in Second Life than sex places. But there it is sex, too. And that is good.
- Do you talk about your Second Life with your real life friends and family?
Yes, I do. My parents know that I am in Second Life. So my brother does. The important people in my real life know that I am in Second Life, and other not so important people know, too. My parents and brother, as well as the important people, are aware of my activities. They know I taught for some years, they know about the store. They know I've created some adult items, and they know I will create more. They know about my pictures and the stories.
The only aspect of my Second Life that my parents don't know is my partner (but my brother, and the important people in my life, know, too). Why, you ask, if you're so open. Being open doesn't mean that I owe explanations about my life to anyone. It means that if you earn my trust, then it will be easy for me to tell you things. But my parents never earned my trust, and, among others, my love life is not something to discuss with them.
Some of my friends don't understand what's so appealing from Second Life. I ask them the same question, about those of their hobbies that I don't share with them, to make a point. When they tell me but this is different I ask them different how? So far, I have not an answer that would resist further questioning. Many forms of entertainment are virtual: the only that remains is the memory of what happened. So what makes watching movies at the cinema, and playing your own fantasy, different? At the end, in both cases, you remain with nothing physical in your hands, but new memories in your mind.
Just two weeks ago, I was explaining to a friend about the poses I create, and what they're used for. Then he asked me what's the point of taking photos in Second Life. I just answered him with a couple of questions, What's the purpose of taking photos in the real world? What's the purpose of all that people creating art and sharing it in Deviant Art? He couldn't reply that without admitting, he was being prejudiced against taking photographs of a virtual place. And so he didn't reply.
Some other people I know do understand what's so appealing, and encouraged me to never leave, if it helps me keep my imagination alive.
I've brought some people with me to Second Life. Some stayed, others, no. But thanks to my not feeling that I need to hide what I do, I could bring more people in. Yes, in Second Life, when time permits, I escape from the real world. And I am not ashamed of what I do. If someone in my life doesn't like it, they better cover their eyes and ears, because I am not going to hide what I like, same way as they don't hide what they like.
- What is your most favorite thing to do in Second Life?
It's hard for me to reply any question of the form what is your favorite [something]? Normally I don't have a favorite, but a range of most preferred choices. In this case, work aside (yes, I like my work here), my preferred things in Second Life would be: be with my partner, write stories with the help of the pictures I take, exploring places, drop skyboxes and other builds at my platform, for pictures (like the cemetery, the asylum)... There are so many entertaining things you can do here!
That's it for now. Have a great day :-)
Mesh body: Lara, from Maitreya
Mesh hands: Lara's hands, from Maitreya
Mesh feet: Lara's feet, from Maitreya
Skin: Lulu 02 C, Jamaica, from Glam Affair
Hair: Teddy, Reds 02, from Truth
Panties: Lycia Lingerie, Ghost, from Baiastice
Stockings: From the Little Miss Patty: ST. Patrick Days Special set, from Blacklace (Omega applier)
Poses: Sit on ankles #4 - Mirror, Black Tulip (mine)
House: Autumn Cottage, from Trompe Loeil