We are always learning, here in Second Life. I’ve been thinking about Natalia Zelmanov and her accomplishments with her successful business, Sirena’s, but also her success in marketing herself. I’ve gone back and read a couple of her earliest blog entries and am in awe of her insights into what was important back in the relative infancy of SL. You can have a lot of fun viewing the world through Natalia’s avie eyes. I’ve also been thinking about Geo Meek’s leading edge work on in-world movie production. He has opened my eyes to a whole new medium of expression for ideas. In my way of looking at the world, it always comes back to point of view.
Who Am Avie, Where Am Avie Going?
I’m sorry to say, I’m more mercurial in nature than Natalia. I don’t know what I am as an avatar yet. I’m very determined to be an avatar. I may even come across as someone who knows what they are doing, but the truth is I don’t. I’m not even sure I belong in SL, even though I’m particularly fond of my second life at the moment. Perhaps I should spend my time engaged in the tiny wonderland I live in, here in northern Idaho. I’ve expressed this idea before, who am I?
Resident vs. Visitor
I have learned that Second Life is different to virtually everyone, however, I’m more convinced than ever that the categories I discussed with Sheri last week are valid. There are residents and there are vistors. And I’ll go a step further, I think that a person starts to fall into one or the other of the categories within the first couple weeks they are here. For the most part, I believe this journal is about being a resident.
A Novel, A Movie
When you’ve chatted with avies about this experience, you’ll find a lot of people describe SL as a movie or novel or television program. In fact, RL television programs are seeing a substantial decline in their viewing audiences since the rise of video gaming. One demographic that is all but lost are those guys playing video games day and night, the 18 to 30-somethings. Some of those guys show up in SL from time to time, but the gaming in SL is apparently not in league with World of Warcarft, et al. SL is a special personal game and when you live the life here, you start to realize that each time you “tune in” you are creating the next episode.
A New Writing Paradigm
For anyone who has ever written any type of substantive, creative document – one where you are consumed by the work – I believe they will recognize that living Second Life adds a new layer into the creative process, a new paradigm for writing. As I say this, I’m partially aware that I’m looking for some justification for wasting my time here, but the truth is I have written substantive documents in my life and I know what the creative process can be. And I believe SL is a new paradigm for creative writing, as it is already a new platform for computing.
Writing My Screenplay
I came to SL with the intension of exploring it as a platform for experiments with Artificial Intelligence, but to quote T.S. Eliot, “Our beginnings never know their ends”. In recent days, I find myself wondering about where all of this will end. And I’m thinking of Dickens, paraphrasing, “Whether or not I shall be the heroine of my own life, or forever it’s victim, these pages must tell.” In writing my journal, I’ve come to believe that I am writing the notes for a novel, or perhaps a screenplay. I’m not sure I’ll ever actually write the novel; however, I am sure that I will not be able to write that novel without this journal.
A Story From The Heart
There is one element missing from these journal entries. Because this is a public blog I never explore my feelings and personal observations here. It may seem as though I do at times, but not really, not from deep down there in my heart. This is a journal, however in it’s writing I have discovered an ending to a story I never realized I had begun.
Frequently, I’ve thought about taking my journal private but I enjoy the occassional reader who contacts me to tell me they enjoy something I’ve written. I’m aware of maybe two or three dozen readers, and I appreciate that they are there. Anyway, these are my thoughts on this Sunday evening. These are lessons I’ve learned.