Twenty Questions meme

Strawberry Singh’s meme this week is Twenty Questions.

  1. When and how did you discover Second Life? – in May or June 2006 when I read an article in the BBC website about U2 and Duran Duran playing gigs in SL.  Being a huge U2 fan I had to sign up, but I never did find the U2 gigs, I think I missed them.
  2. Did you know about virtual worlds before or was this your first experience with them? – I knew about World of Warcraft and had played that a bit, but only occasionally and casually. I don’t play games much except for the casual sort like Bejewelled.
  3. Has Second Life met your expectations? – Exceeded them and more.
  4. If you could teleport back to the first ten minutes of your avatar’s slife, what would you tell yourself? – Keep that first avatar, go premium and keep that L$500 a week stipend. For ever.
  5. How long did it take you to master avatar flying and driving vehicles inworld? – Flying was pretty easy but driving vehicles still sucks because of sim crossings. It’s better now than it was in 2006 though.
  6. Do you have a mystery alt? – I have a few alts. Madison knows who they are and I think my daughter knows most of them too. I don’t keep them secret but at the same time, I don’t friend everyone with my alts either. It’s nice to have some quiet time sometimes.
  7. Is your SL avatar a reflection of you, or someone you wished you could be? – If you’ve watched The Matrix you’ll have heard Morpheus speak of “Residual Self Image”.  That’s what my main avatar is to me. He doesn’t look entirely how I look in RL; I would kill for naturally ginger hair and a ginger beard.  But sometimes when I dream, even before I heard of Second Life, that’s how I looked in my dreams.
  8. Is there an individual you met in SL that inspired you in your RL? How? – There is one person I met early on in SL who gave me the confidence to come out to my partner and family as transgendered. Without that person’s support and encouragement I might never have started transition. I might not even be alive today.
  9. Do you feel it is easier to create stronger bonds/relationships with people you meet inworld as opposed to the real world? – Easier and harder, both. It’s easier to meet people and make that initial contact in SL. It’s harder to maintain though, because SL is so limited.
  10. Did you ever imagine or believe people could fall in love with someone they never met before Second Life? – Yes of course. It was happening online and offline long before Second Life existed.
  11. How has your perspective of dating changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – It hasn’t, really. I am in a long term relationship in RL and I haven’t dated in the real world for a long time.
  12. How has your perspective of employment changed (or not) since you started playing second life? – A few years ago I though it was amazing that people could make a real living by making things for SL. I am sad that the bar has been raised out of the reach of most people now, and it’s no longer possible for the majority of SL users.
  13. Name three things in both your lives that overlap each other significantly. – Love of art, love of music, love of Madison.
  14. If you could live your life more immersively in a virtual world, would you? (Kind of like the Matrix) – Not if it involved putting my real body in some kind of suspended animation or something like that. That seems dangerous.  But if I could simply move into the virtual world as if it was real, more like how it was in Tron, I’d do that.
  15. How do you think behavior changes for people if they’re inworld vs in real world? Why do you think that is? – Anonymity gives people the freedom to do what they dare not do in the real world. For some, that might be to chase a dream that would be impossible in the real world. For others it’s sexual freedom and exploration, being a prostitute or exploring kinks.  For others it’s being rude and aggressive, trolling, griefing.  The virtual world is the opportunity but it’s their own personalities that choose what they do with it.
  16. How has second life consumerism changed your perception of spending habits, the value of money, the need to be “bleeding edge” with fashion? – Second Life has actually got me more conscious of how I present myself fashion-wise in the real world. I will sometimes buy something in the real world that my avatar would wear and look good in. I don’t need to be “bleeding-edge” in either world, but I like to dress well, within my own particular style.
  17. Do you think virtual worlds like SL drive and redefine human interaction or do they narrow and limit it? – At the moment I think it’s trying to redefine them but I don’t think it’s quite got there yet.  In all honesty I think the main thing driving and changing human interaction these days is Facebook.   It will take some big changes for any virtual world to become that influential.
  18. If technology progressed tomorrow to allow you to send emotions to people the way you’d send text or voice messages, would it enrich your SL experience or infringe on it? – I think I would find it rather frightening. The last thing I want is to have other people throwing all of their emotions at me.
  19. Name three skills you attribute to having learned or honed in second life alone. – There’s only photoshop really. I used it before but I’ve become much better at it.  I can’t think of anything else.
  20. If your grand kids googled your Second Life Avatar’s name, would they be intrigued, disgusted, proud or something else? – I think they’d be intrigued and amused, but by then, there’s probably something much better than SL and they’ll think it all terribly quaint and old-fashioned.
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