Happy coincidence

Shortly after finishing my last post, I was browsing through the Events>Discussions page in SL, when I came across a name I recognised, Lizzie Gudkov, who I’d first met at SL’s Portmerion-inspired Village Sim, where she used to host some really interesting philosophical discussions. Lizzie left The Village, and so did all the other interesting people, so I stopped going too. (There was another reason I wouldn’t go back but I’m not discussing that in public).

Anyway, Lizzie has set up a new discussion group at her own venue LnL Square, and by sheer coincidence it was just about to start, so I went along. It was lovely meeting Lizzie again, and some other old faces from The Village that I remembered too.  By another coincidence the topic of conversation was “SL Drama” (a topic I remembered from before) and somewhere in the discussion came that old Immersion vs Augmentation debate which I’d just been talking about in my blog.

After the discusion I stayed to chat a while, and four of us ended up on the MHOH2 hunt for an hour.

It was great fun, and I’m so glad to be able to catch up with old friends again.

Oil and water

This post came from a thread in the official SL “flogs” (as bad as they are, and in need of much flogging there are occasionally some good thought-provoking threads there).

This one starts with the common profile-statement “RL and SL are seperate and I do not mix them”. The Immersionist side of the Immersionist-Augmentist debate.

A fascinating subject, and lots of thought-provoking answers. To me, if I see that in someone’s profile I assume that either their avatar is nothing like their RL self (possibly a different gender) or else they’re married and not intending for SL relationships to become RL relationships.

In a sense, both of these apply to me and yet I still don’t feel like I do keep SL and RL seperate at all. My avatar may be taller and fitter and better-looking than I am in RL, and I don’t do voice or share RL pictures or phone numbers with SL friends. I am married in RL so I’m not in the market for a RL relationship. I have no urgent need to meet up with SL friends in RL (although I would not object to doing so if the opportunity arose). But despite this, my avatar is still me in every possible way. Aside from identifying personal information, I am open about my RL with SL friends. I can’t even say “my avatar is the same as me” because that would imply that we are two alike but separate things, and I don’t see my avatar that way at all. It’s just me, as I wish I looked, as I look in my dreams. In The Matrix movie, they call it “Residual Self-Image”.

And yet while I am very much myself in SL, I have no issues with people who see things differently- for whom their avatar is a roleplaying character very different from their real self (I have a couple of roleplaying alts too). It’s odd really, that I seem to fit on both ends of the I-A scale – both being very much true to my RL self in my avatar (although one of the biggest turnoffs for me is someone who asks too many questions about what I look like in RL and what I do, as opposed to what I think), and at the same time having no need to drag SL friendships into RL.

I have the following in my profile (and the same in Salo’s profile as well, actually):

I respect others’ avatars as they choose to present themselves, whether that matches RL or not is mostly irrelevent to me. I would hope to be treated with equal courtesy.

This means, basically, that I don’t care if your RL self doesn’t match your avatar – I’ll treat you as you present yourself inworld until you instruct me to do otherwise. Because it really doesn’t matter, for the purposes of a SL friendship – I’m much more interested in the words you type. And it shouldn’t matter to you that in RL I’m not a fit, red-haired hunk, I’m just a short, weedy nerd with glasses and greying hair.

Short stuff

Salo has been tweaked again.  It started when I tweaked my height back down to 6’4″, and then I realised that Salo was actually TALLER then me which just won’t do. So I had this idea to make her height much more realistic to RL… so now she’s 5’9″

And she looks TINY.

This pic was taken this afternoon, the guy next to her is just some random stranger.

Short stuff

Now, given that she has an androgynous shape, with no breasts, and an androgynous skin with no makeup, I’m just wondering how long it will be before she’s accused of being a child avatar.

Folky folk

One of the reasons I joined SL to begin with, way back in 2006, was because of the live music. In the end, I hardly went to any, but lately I’ve been going to events and I’ve found a superb folky British singer-songwriter called Russell Eponym.

He plays a mix of his own material along with some more well-known folk classics, like “Last Thing on my Mind” and “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” and intersperses with friendly chatter, and will acknowledge every guest by name. He even ad-libs songs about members of the audience. I got mentioned twice, I think by the end of the song he was forgetting who he’d included and who he’d missed. The way he chats between songs reminds me of a RL musician I know, Pete Ryder.

By some odd coincidence, there was a guy there tonight wearing exactly the same skin that I wear. Except he’d stretched it to about 7ft 6 tall. (I still think it looks better on me).

There were two girls in matching skins and hair and Regency outfits, one in red and one in green, dancing in unison. That was neat too.