Friday, December 24, 2010

And the winner is...

...Kristen Wrydan...her friend Kantbe send in such a nice note, so I decided to make Kirsten the winner of the vacation contest...please contact me for further details on your price :-)


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Every year short before xmas the countdown starts clicking till the new year starts. I hear it loud and clear....

First of all the deadline for the weekly vacation at Monkeys will be till the 24th of december..than santa will pick the winner and the holidays can still time to particiapate and write me a note, why you should spend a week vacations at Monkeys.

I'm still researching for the sports series, but won't start posting, before I don't have a complete over all view on things. I already found great sports, a lot of fun and nice sports communities and changed my opinion about sports on SL completely. Read more about it....latest in the new year.

I had six different homes this year and I hope the next year won't bring too much changes related to living space. I'm happy, where I ended up finally and hope to stay here for long. As I have very nice neighbors in a peaceful region.

Anyways there's still a lot to learn about Second Life and the people in it. This year - after 2 years without a propper private avatar life - I had ups and downs. I decided to have more leisure time and learned to know really nice people and really weird people as well, honest and trustful ones, dishonest and messy ones as well. It was like a cruise backwards in time, when I began living in Second Life and I had to make certain experiences. I brushed those up and luckily less intensity and less emotional involvement was needed to remember the variety of minds in this world. It's seldom but for this reason even more appreciated to meet honest and nice people with the heart at the right place. People who are even worth my clickers thoughts. I'm happy I met some of those and hope to keep the good memories of 2010 for a long time.

To all my readers relaxed holidays and a good start to 2011!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Win one week vacations on your own little island in the Monkey area

Unfortunately life - even Second Life - provides challenges more often than you would wish. I guess - as in the place called Real Life - it's the quest to make the best out of it. So, you readers are the lucky ones standing to benefit from recent happenings in my life and may win a free vacation on a cozy little island. This competition provides a connection between the last and upcoming blog series as well: vacation and sports, as Monkey is one of the best known high quality surf regions in our world. All you have to do to participate is sending me reasons (via notecard, post or mail), why you should get this vacation. It's a rezzday present to me as well, to be able to offer this price on my 3rd rezzday.
Looking forward to many participants ;-) and don't forget to vote in the actual poll! Madonna already sang!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Old Poll - New Poll

It's been a while, but the vacation poll is over and I guess I needed a vacation from vacation. The result is that 75% voted that every creature needs a break and 25% that there is no special vacation for avatars needed as the whole avatar life is a holiday. Well, I voted for vacations, but since I am back home I can say for myself that it could differ from a humans vacation. It is not important to go to a place and hang there for a certain time. It may as well be a vacation in "logged off" land. It's more about time than place....Time to concentrate on who you are and what you don't wanna become.

Anyways I am happy to be back in my new new home...the fifth now in the last half year, the 8th in SL in total. May my forth avatar life year in the new new home begin great! It's my rezzday next week and I can't believe I become three.

As well I start the new sports series soon...just came back home from SLSA surfing competitions and set up interviews for the surf special. And in some minutes you can vote in the new SL sports poll.

Monday, November 29, 2010

New series about sports on SL starting soon

After a more than relaxing holidays, I chose a more active and action loaded topic to blog about: SPORTS!
I will start a new poll soon and will go into research mode for a few days. If there are any SL sportsladies or sportsmen reading this and willing to take part in an interview, please contact me via IM, notecard or mail. As well I'm greatful to all hints about every sport you know about and maybe you as well know a player in it!?
More about sports following soon........

/me streches out on her sofa

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Time to say Goodbye to Oahu at Day 6

There was nothing left to explore on Oahu and as well I had the feeling I learned, what I had to learn. I need either creativity or communication to be happy in my avatar life. Well music is entertaining me pretty good as well, but after six days of hawaiin music I definetly need diversion. I packed my bags and was happy to be able to go home again and talk to my friends whenever I want.

Ready for take off.
Leaving my hut behind.
Saying goodbye to my favorite spot.

Home sweet home!
Ohau and Kauai are nicely made islands, but I fear vacations for an avatar should be different than vacations for a human being. Maybe the following lines help to get a brief understanding....

"Was also ist das Reisen? Wie kann der Mensch im Reisen zu "Glück" kommen? Reißen wir beim Ausreißen die Wurzeln mit aus, oder bleibt unsere Wurzel nicht am Ort ihrer "Heimat" zurück - wohin wir wieder zurückmüssen? Kommen wir demnach doch immer nur zu Hause an, wie Novalis mutmaßt? Oder ist das Reisen einfach nur die Schaffung von Gegenräumen, "Heterotopien" (Foucault), in denen wir uns für eine Zeit an alternativen Orten einrichten? Vielleicht ist das Reisen dann der Verwirklichungsversuch, "künstliche Topoi" zu schaffen, nicht unähnlich den Paradis artificiels, von der Wirklichkeit enthobenen Rauschzuständen. Das Reisen als eine Art Droge? Das "Woher kommen wir? Wo wollen wir hin?" beschreibt unseren Weg hin zu "Kunstorten", die wir uns - temporär - schaffen, um für Augenblicke unseres Lebens einen Mythos zu leben." (Klaus Kuhfeld)

"What is travelling after all? How can the human find happiness in travelling? Do we root out by lighting out or do our roots drop behind at home - where we gotta return? Do we only arrive at home, as Novalis guessed? Or is travelling just the creation of antipodal spaces, "heterotrophies" (Foucault), in whom we seddle for a certain time at alternative locations? Maybe than travelling is the try to implement "artificial topoi", similar to the Paradis artificiels, intoxication displaced from reality. Travelling as kind of drug? The "Where do we come from? Where do we go?" describes our way to artificial locations, which we create - temporarily - to live a myth moments of our life."

Thanks for joining me on that trip!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Explosive Summarization of Experience on Day 5

"Die starke Verdichtung von Tätigkeiten, Entscheidungen und Informationen erzeugt in den modernen Arbeitsformen neue Formen von Stress, die zu Rastlosigkeit führen. Der allseits flexible Mensch setzt diese innere und äußere Rastlosigkeit in der Freizeit fort, wenn Handy, Internet und PKW enorme Beschleunigug versprechen und unter dem Diktat des Zeitsparens und gleichzeitigen Konsumierens immer mehr "Flow"-Erlebnisse gesucht werden. Authetisches Leben wird auf diese Weise zur geheimen Sehnsucht, die im Urlaub ausgelebt werden soll. Die Rückkehr zur Natur, die Suche nach dem und den Frendem, die Verschmelzung mit dem Ursprünglichen wird zum zentralen Beweggrund des Reisens." (Hans-Werner Prahl)

I try once again: "The intense summarization of tasks, decisions and information produces in modern working methods new forms of stress, which lead to restlessness. The always flexible human continues that inner and outer restlessness, when mobile phone, internet and automobiles promise vast acceleration and within the dictate of time saving and simultaneous consuming the search for more and more flow experiences goes on. This way authentic life is getting a secret desire, which should be acted out in vacation. The return to nature, the search of the other and the foreign, the melting with the original is becoming the central reason to travel."

Today - suprise, suprise - Sylvia came to visit me at Oahu. She was one day early, but I didn't blame her as there was not much more to do or think on Oahu. I even managed to reduced my inventory from nearly 10.000 items to less than 9.000. When do you have time to do such things usually???
So now we could start our hardcore tourist program. The chase for tourist attractions and concentrated amusement began after I picked her up, because she got lost on biiiiiiig Oahu island - seems so tiny to me after five days.

Showing Sylvia our hut.

We kinied up and after a short rest on our deck we went for exploration.

First we did the hula....

Shake your hips...

..and then we tried every technical attraction...but we couldn't rezz a scooter.

The aero-putter did not work either...

Skydiving did not work, even as we payed for it...

We didn't get any champaign at the beach or a meal in mermaids paradise.

Bad service...

The drive in cinema did not work for us, but made Sylvia freak out:

[14:02]  Sylvia Scribe: 'Oh Rockly I love you win for me!'
[14:02]  Sylvia Scribe: 'yes I will I will do it again and again and again!'
[14:02]  Sylvia Scribe: 'oh no please...just 6 times is a charm!'
[14:03]  Sylvia Scribe: 'oh baby you are so hot I want to may love to you in the mermaid garden'
[14:03]  Sylvia Scribe: 'Oh rocky you are so manly (mmm ooohh)

---No comment---

If we would have been two blondes, well, then I'd maybe think, it might be our fault, but Sylvia is a bruenette. She asked me if there is anything working here and I replied:

"Yes, idleness!"

Surprisingly water sports worked well.

Riding speed whales.
Had no idea I am such a pro at jetskiing.
Baywatch for your safety
Then we decided to look for communicating people. We started at the beach.

The words were as rich in content as his muscles...but he spoke!!!
Failt forming a band..
[13:09]  Sylvia Scribe: Lalalaaa yaaaahhhhh ohhhhh mmmm llallalalla
[13:09]  Sylvia Scribe shouts: Feel free to talk to me! I don't bite!!!!
[13:09]  Avatar XY shouts: ok thank you!
[13:10]  Sylvia Scribe shouts: LOL! NP...everyone seems to run away when I say hi!

Sylvia then shouted out loud that people shouldn't be afraid to talk to her and ended up in an IM. It didn't help to fill the band, but made her flee when the guy was afk. Well in total we didn't have much success. Even the direct neighbor to our hut did not answer our greetings. Something wrong here?

Whilst writing this - still on Oahu - my direct neighbor freaks me out manipulating the radio. Either the huts were connected in radio streams or this is her way of communicating. Strange vacationist! 

Petting kittens.
It was pretty exhausting after all to hunt for communication and adventures, so we chilled a bit at the bar, till I had weird thoughts.

Wishing a Cystitis?
[13:28]  Nadja Revnik: you can sit her and drink and then pee into the pool afterwards to get rid of it
[13:29]  Sylvia Scribe: hahahaah
[13:29]  Nadja Revnik: omy lets get out we might not be the first...

And so our exciting day at Oahu ended tired in bed. I am happy I could share a part of my Oahu experience with a really good friend. We both dreamed to go home on the next day and sometimes dreams come true ;-)

Seeya at home...XOXO MissR.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Exploration on Day 4

"Der Tourist versucht, das Fremde und die Fremden in einer temporären Figuration zu entdecken, um sich zugleich der eigenen Identität und Authenzität zu vergewissern." (Hans-Werner Prahl)

I try a translation: "The tourist tries to discover the other and the strangers in a teporarily figuration, to assure oneself of the own identity and authenticy."


So far it did not work to discover many strangers willing to talk a lot or even staying around long enough to study those. I decided to go on an exploration to the neighbor island Kauai to search for the foreign. But I guess sitting by the fire and philosophize brought me closer to my idea of self. As well do postcards I recieve from friends. (Thanks again P. & M.) I get closer to what I am here and what I want to do in my Second Life, well actually in the Second Life. I miss people here on Oahu....they come and go, travel fastly, globalized. Maybe another category of visitors are lovers, as there is a lot to do here for couples. So I guess in Second Life as in Real life love seems to matter a lot to the residents.

Kauai Island is just a short flight or sail away from Oahu and after I tried some relaxation on Oahu first I, went over to explore the landscape.

Sailing close to dolphins...

This fourth day is a lot about view. A change in perspective enables sometimes a change in thoughts as well.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Leisure Time on Day 3

Leisure seemed to be the subject of my third day on Oahu. I start to merge with idleness, too lazy to move away from my hut. Some say idleness is the beginning of all vice - so let's see what follows....probably times change when Sylvia will arrive.
I started the day reading in pys lying on the armchair....that's a part I love about vacations, you can start the day easy without hectic. And guess what, as an avatar I don't even have to care about coffee or breakfast at all. That saves a lot of time, great or what do you think?

Chill, chill, chill..
I did read a travel guide about Oahu Island to find out, how to spend the next days. Reading it, I as well recognized that a very good friend is what's missing in my vacations. Good that Sylvia will arrive on saturday. I bet she can't wait to join me watching Rocky 6 at the local drive in movie theatre. As well I found out there is an anual Miss Hawaiian Contest on Oahu - next time, when I search for adventure density, I might travel here about that time. 

At the end I made a To Do List for the rest of my vacation:

- Count different animals on sim
- Go fishing
- Surf
- Go diving at mermaid hangout
- Visit drive in cinema
- Find someone for a sudden marriage to try out wedding chappel----kidding
- Visit greeting bot for more information
- Visit art exhibtion again
- Explore neighbor island
- Try out all places for relaxation

Do it like the Monkeys do...

The postman found my mailbox on Oahu and I recieved a postcard from home. Thanks P.!

P.S.: "MyAvatarMind" is on Twitter now and Nadja Revnik on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 2 of Resort Holidays

When I woke up it was still dark or again? How shall I know? And how shall I know if I supposed to be jetlagged? In which timezone might Oahu be? And related to which other? Actually we just have one timezone in Second Life - SLT. But the residents seem to have a different relation to that one. Does time matter at all? But I fear that's a bigger topic not made for vacations, when the clock's ticking different anyways.
Usually holiday is conceived as relaxation and as well made to a composition of tempo and experience density (see Prahl from the Real World). Let's start with relaxation...

Grumpy watching TV?

I stood up and as I can't talk with my friends on vacation, I thought about what to do...I never watched TV in SL, but now I tried out the metaverseTV. A show named Grumpy Old Avatars caught my eye. It was a talk show, informative and a bit funny as the title promised. TV seems to be an alternative activity as avatars would not spend their freetime watching trash, won't they?

Daylight view

But well, isn't life in Second Life about communication and meeting people? So when dawn had broken I went out to explore the island and meet people as the security orb does not only keep out unwanted visitors. It keeps out wanted distraction as well. I was partly successful making contacs. They were not many avatars around, but when I walked a beach I saw someone stranded on a surfboard. I tried to talk to him about his situation, but he must have passed out and even the dolphin laughed about him.

Some are better at surfing than others...

I saw some other people at the beach and said hi. The answer was: 
 Whatever this means....
Most avatars I met seemed to be busy with relaxation and not up for a talk and I started to feel a bit bored. So I checked out the shops at the beach. You can shop surf gear, hawaiian clothes even for men, very unpractical boots for a sandy area, tons of flip flops as well, can get a new tattoo and more. If I'd been male, I would have bought the hula skirt, but in my case I saved a lot of money buying nothing.

Nice spot for vacation photos.

After a while of unsuccessfully searching for communication, I ended up sunbathing on my deck. 

Even paradise can be boring...

I saw the owner of the local art gallery on my minimap and as IMs within the vacation region are allowed, I told her, I really like the actual exhibition from an african artist in the Gallery Fermate. You should see the paintings yourself and travel to Oahu (it's in the main building in the middle of the sim)!

Starshine in front of her Gallery Fermate at Oahu.

After dusk I lay down in my bed to sleep again with the thoughts that after all on day two of my vacation I met someone really interesting and nice. Btw Starshine as well is a reporter for Stream Scene - a music magazine on metaverseTV. It's worth a look!

Good night ;-) XOXO MissR

Don't forget to participate in the poll about avatar vacation on top of this blog!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Take Off & Arrival

"Jede Reise beginnt mit dem Träumen, der Neugier auf das noch Fremde. Was sich seit der Ära der Entdeckungen, der frühen Globalisierung der Welt, geändert hat, ist der Verlust des Weges, die Entwertung der Strecke. Das globalisierte Reisen ist Tempo, Vergünstigung und schnelles Schauen. Deshalb träumen wir heute auch anders, die Bilder rauschen an uns vorbei, das Ziel ist alles."
(Klaus Kuhfeld)

Hans-Werner Prahl - a guy from the real world, whos book I found in one of our SL libraries - states that travelling nowadays is either an off from or towards to an environment. Whatever my vacation is, it started with the usual stress - well I heared it's given - like searching for luggage, informing friends about the vacation, packing, dressing up for travels and locking the doors.

Waiting for the taxi...

I took the fast teleport to hawaiian Oahu Vacation Resort. Thats real globalized travelling. Just seconds till you reach your favored destination. No waiting for the luggage and no lost luggage at all, no traffic jams, no delays of trains or airplanes. Don't you think human travels suck, dealing with all those problems!?
But at the time I arrived, there seemed to be no difference to human trips. I landed at Oahu and waiting began. I entered the resort rental office, sat down, rang a bell and after a looooooong time and another IM finally an agent arrived. Working at a rental office seems totally stress-free...

Nice working position...

Well talking in full sentences was not her strength either. I was simply asked "price range?". Actually I thought it might be more important, how I imagined to spend my vacations, but I guess that did not matter to her. I tried once again and asked which island is more popular and which huts are near a surf beach, but I got no propper answer to that. In the rental office is a map of Oahu and Kauai on the wall where the vacancies are visible.
Those maps are nothing for you to worry about!!!

I was told that those maps are none of my business, I should simply leave the building left or right and look for the huts. It was as well not the welcome and the service I dreamed about.

I'm walking...

After a short fly around the islands I decided fastly on a hut, because the lady wanted to close down the rental office. An interesting change from waiting to rushing. 

Waiting to enter...

After I was orbed two times I finally could enter my hut and get rid of my luggage. I was tired and worn out from the preparations and the unrelaxing renting procedure. 

After briefly enjoying the silence.... 

Breath deeply...

...I fell on the bed, fully dressed, and instantly zonked out.

Seeya morrow...XO MissR.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time for Vacations

Can an avatar like me be in the need for vacations? My life was pretty busy with finding new homes and other stuff lately, so I feel slightly stressed and in a way uncentered. Even if I found a great new home already, have nice new (old ones as well) neighbors and moved in with my writing desk, I feel the need to escape from my usual avatar life. I need rest. I feel exhausted, given I can feel anything...
When I was looking for a new home I accidently found a vacation resort for avatars. You can't rent permanent homes there - it's for four weeks max. I decided to go on vacation, when my new home is set up and guess what..that's now. I never had any vacations so far. And it seems to be kind of experiment. Our avatar life in second life is busy with IM's or teleporting to other places. I won't do either. And as well I will be invisible for all my friends the week I am staying at the resort. I will blog each day, how I feel, what I explore..well how avatar vacations are. First I stay alone, but after some days my friend Sylvia will join me and we do a girls weekend.
Please join me on that trip by reading my blog and posting comments!

Hey! Ho! Let's Go (The Ramones)

"Die magische Kraft der Reise liegt darin, daß sie ds Leben reinigt, bevor man es einrichtet und ausschmückt." (Nicolas Bouvier)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Residential History

A smart avatar named Tom Bukoswki gathered some (historical) data and case studies about our world in his clickers book "Coming of Age in Second Life". He describes the local conditions in Second Life around 2006: "By August 2006 over half of Second Life was islands, leading to concerns over the future of mainland.". Always most popular places have been the low lying beach fronts. Who does not want to live in a tropical beach paradise? Always nice weather, direct view onto the ocean. Even an avatar dreams about such scenarios - well given that we can.

Guess where I bought my first land, when I came to Second Life in December 2007 (my clicker probably annoyed from the cold winter days in Real Life) was waterfront land. But it was not located on an island, it was mainland. Looking at the Second Life world map you can see how much space the islands nowadays take compared to the mainland continents.
In 2010 private islands (often zoned by themes and following one single design style, makes them look less chaotic compared to the old mainland continents) got so popular as living ground, the Lindens had to think about a new strategy. Why become a VIP avatar (avatars whith clickers holding a premium account), when you can rent for similar prices on a private sim. You stay flexible, as you don't own the land and have to sell it when you wanna move and maybe loose money that way.  I lost a lot of Lindens when I sold my mainland plot in 2008, which was grown to 9042 sq after a short while. Anyway the new strategy is to offer a house with atiny bit of land in a themed area. The only benefit I see is, that the prims of the house do not minimize the 117 per 512 sq you usually get. Besides those areas look like american suburbs if themed or not. They have an official meeting place integrated, thats a plus compared to the american suburbs from the Real Life world. But I don't know if people use those or prefer to teleport out to gather with other people or even start feeling lonely and isolated like humans living in american suburbs. The Lindens advertise those "new" homes as a social environment, a place to be creative - whose creativity will not be killed by suburbian cultures? - they point out that you get a permanent virtual adress that way and you can experience with your look in the privacy of your home. Well, and who did not try to zoom into other buildings...that prominent feature only we avatars have. So much for the privacy. And no security system keeps people from caming you.
What':s most funny is the comic strip about those new Linden homes. Where to go, when you date your future dream partner? Didn't we all ride the emotional rollercoaster (more or less high), when we came to Second Life? But can this really be the reason, why we become residents of Second Life?

When I was writing this second part about residential related issues in Second Life I got a message from my landlord telling me that he's restructuring his sims and stops renting out single houses. I hope it's no bad karma I provoced writing this blog entry. While moving once in a while can be refreshing and kinda renews your avatar life - loss of old neighbors, gain of new one, maybe making some new friends, new view in front of your windows - I start getting tired of finding new homes. To understand this I will tell you a bit about my residential history.

Experimenting is an essential part of each avatar life. One way to experiment is learning by doing. I guess I tried most ways of residential living in Second Life to find out, what suits me best.

At that time pretty for sale signs around.
I started of with owning mainland and fast learned about prim restrictions and how those make you buy more land. In about two month my land holdings grew from 512 sq to 9024 sq as I needed prims for building urgently. My motivation to own land was learning how to build, to design a chill out area and to open an art gallery. My former neighbors at Druids Post, whose land I mostly bought as those moved to a private sim, tought me a lot about building. One even tought me about male chauvinism and how he transfers gorean life in Second Life partly to his clickers real life, but that's another sad chapter called how avatars not only annoy yourself but your clicker as well.

Gallery building set up in the background.
After doing a nice chilly area design for the land, setting up the gallery project and running the opening exhibition, I (or even my clicker) was at the usual point where "we" get bored. We never lack ideas, but we need new projects after old started of well. Besides I became concierege of an university sim meanwhile, so I had a pretty busy avatar life - too busy. Doing things half way does not work in SL. You need to stay popular by word of mouth to run a project constantly successful. And I simply ran out of time. Even avatars can get stressed. We need to get logged off once in a while to gain engergy.

4092 sq on the private sim  High Valley
That's why I decided to move on. A coincidence brought me to the High Valley, which was owned by a friend of a friend. I reduced the plot size to half of the Druids one and was just keen on doing the area design, which for me is always the best part with new land. Besides I hoped to make it a third place, but I found out that private sims can be pretty lonely. There is nearly no traffic by accident on a residential private sims with no other attractions. I seldom was home and did not enjoy being there too time to move on.

The Druids Design Park on Tuli
That time I was more smart and chose a private sim with an attractive surf beach and therefore more traffic. Indeed I felt more home on Tuli Bahari as I ever felt in the High Valley. I knew the owner of that private sim before I decided to rent a plot with a house on it. I added a new quest to area design and another gallery - I built up a business. Sold mostly beach furniture with my business partner. Again an experimental project which was about marketing in Second Life. When the shop was set up, all learning was done and it was time to move on, because of other reasons as well, but this time I stayed on the same sim.

My beloved and lost Tuli Home.
The house was always too big, even used as a gallery and a small beach shack was just enough and exactly what I needed. A place for myself. To enjoy the view from a hilltop, facing the waves on the water. But then it started - the unwated relocations. Tuli sank into the waters of infinite cyberspace on oct 5th 2010 and I found my new home at Aussie Cove in the Monkeys region - eight connected surf sims.

The possesed  HALEIWA
I loved the view, but that place was always connected to other people and not really all mine. I felt lonely up there, even if it was beautiful. There was no connection to the few neighbors, which were seldom around when I was. Like when I rented the shack on Tuli, I wanted a home which felt mine, was just for me, but surrounded by nice people, a nice neighborly community and a place for my desk to write my blog at.

Syx Monkeys - different sense of being.
I found it two sims away at Syx Monkeys. I love to enjoy the view while writing, I have great neighbors and now again I need to move without having the drive to. Why do I start searching a new home before the old one is really lost? I could stuff all my furniture in my huge bagpack. can it be possible that I adopted my clickers fear of being without a proper home?

Did you recognize the change in motivation for a place of residence? First it was mostly project orientated for sure always with the wish to be part of a neighborly community, then residing was the crucial factor. I was created for work, but now I live my avatar life. Can I?

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm a Resident

People  - given that avatars are people - in Second Life, are called residents. I guess the gods (the dear Lindens) chose this term to imply we live in a world that should be "home" for us - a "place" to live.
When I became a resident, I could be happy: a cousin explored the lands already for some month and I could start off as a real resident and not as a homeless or a beach bum, which term is more common in my environment. My dear cousin found a nice 512 qm piece of waterland on an auction and I got it for about 10.000 Linden Dollar. The price for such a mainland (land on a continent versus islands) plot is unbelievable nowadays. And even back then it was no bargain. But I fell in love with the idea to own land, the region and liked the neighbors. first "private" place in Second Life. (Again another topic - privacy in Second Life)

But was this really necessary? Does an avatar need a home? Is it conceivably that an avatar feels happiness owning land or having a home?
Undeniable Second Life is a place, a space including infinite different spaces as it growth constantly. Here, as in other worlds, there are different kind of places. First places like private homes, second places where you work (which are not as cultivated here as in other worlds) and the third places. Ray Oldenburg (The Great Good Place), a guy from the Real World, defined those as informal gathering places, which have no home or work related context. This can be a cafe, a bar, a park with benches to sit on and any other neutral public ground, where people can gather and interact. There are theories in the Real World that a lot of people nowadays visit third places accessible through computer mediated technologies (see Howard Rheingold from the Real World). I don't know much about such technologies. We seldom use such in our avatar world. But from time to time I visit a dance club or a public beach to meet other avatars. The living structures and conditions in the Real World seem to reduce the third places over there. May those be american suburbian cultures or a the economic crisis, leaving less money to spend in bars etc. Anyway, it's nice to see the population growing in such worlds like mine, isn't it!?

In Second Life about 800.000 residents (in Q3 2010) live on a regular basis (even if there are 21.000.000 avatars in total, a lot of them died - well, if they can - or got lost (there are stories of avatars disappearing between two teleports - so watch out ;-)). In the fourth quarter of 2010 Second Life has 2,08 thousand square kilometers. I hear it's larger than Singapore, which is located in that so called Real World. Is that huge? Can I be proud to be a resident in such world?

To be continued...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

History & Friends

Even if I would love to deny it once in a while, I have a real history. Some avatars try to flee from it by reinventing themselves, as their clickers try to escape their everyday life. You can do this by choosing an overall new look starting with your skin, your shape, your hair etc.. You can as well change the places, where you usually spent time at, like choosing another home. And with the places you can try to change the so called friends you have. You might even delete your old friends from your friendslist. But can you escape your memories or delete them? I don't think so. You can maybe reduce the thoughts spent on certain events or friends by choosing to go on differently, but from time to time there will be a glimpse backwards. And then what? You might try blocking it out fast or perhaps you even might try to make peace with the past.
There might be another choice for your clicker: creating a totally new avatar. But how feels a multiple you? I will think about that later as my avatar mind is restricted in that case. Maybe I'll discuss this with my clicker and will write about the results later.
So, what do you think is the best choice dealing with history and friends in a virtual world? What will the former avatar friends think, when you delete them from your list? Still there is the undiscussed question, if an avatar is allowed to feel sad or even has emotions at all. Who will be more frustrated: you, the one running from your past or the people you leave behind? Or is friendship just so meaningless in a virtual life that it doesn't even matter? Is everything moving so fast you can't grasp it anyways?

There's a thing called friendslist in Second Life. Often a nice chat with a formerly unknown person ends up with a friends offer. Which makes sense if you might want to talk to this person again, as there are about 800.000 useres logging in frequently in Second Life. Theres's another possibility to remeber the person you talked to: exchanging calling cards. Nearly noone uses that one. But can you be a friend after just one talk? Or some even ask to be your friend without even chatting a word. Kinda weird! Why not call this thing contactlist instead of friendslist? I guess it's to make us feel more comfortable and let us see how many friends we have and how popular we might be cause of this.

Let's have a look at my friendslist starting with A.
I realize now for the first time that the list is sorted by forenames. And I find an Abraham there on top of the list. Without looking on his profile, I can't even remember, who he is and why he is my so called friend. Looking at his profile I find out I must have met him in an educational context. But is he still a friend? Has he ever been a friend or is he just a business contact. I guess that's a problem only the working avatars have to deal with.

The second one Aeo...I can remember he is a former student from a real life university where my clicker has taught. I don't remember how we got along, when I was giving lessons. Is or was he ever a friend? I Don't think so, as I needed his contact for teaching reasons. But again a problem not many avatars have to face.

Lets find a "private" contact - makes me think if avatars even have a private life.
There is Angelis. I do remember him pretty clearly. An artist and so called business man in Second Life. I met him at one of my exhibition openings. He was a nice guy, maybe is still, but I haven't met him in ages, it seems. Has he a right to stay on my friendslist? Have I a right to delete him or do I totally forget about him, if I do so and might regret it, when one day I might feel the sudden urge to speak to him?

For now I didn't found any real friend or any contact that really lasted my whole avatar life or a longer part of it. I know that I can find Broesel in the middle of my B-friends. Actually I know him my whole avatar life. And I still would call him a friend. Phew! I never had the intention getting him of my friendslist.

Luckily there are some more avatars on my friendslist I would call friends. But since I have been in Second Life for nearly three years, there are a lot of nominal members as well. I did clear out my friendslist once or twice, but just to remove people I can't even remember anymore. I was cleared out by some as well. Interestingly as well by two friends I have a background with. Both ones I can say had a "real" avatar life, very engaged in their "second lifes". About one elimination I just found out right now, as I didn't try to talk to that avatar in about 2 years. But I still wonder from time to time, what's going on in it's life and looking up the avatar profile I could read: "on an extended SL vacation". The other one is a longer story. Let's say I was kinda astonished finding out the truth. But luckily my clickers intuition prevented me from being badly hurt. Well if I could be hurt, but as mentioned that's another chapter. Writing this I might think, does the fact I got deleted from someones list influence, how people will think about me? Rejection might be something avatars have to live with - again another chapter. 

But lets conclude the friends chapter more optimistic. I can say, I am happy to share my life here in Second Life with some real friends. Real as real as in friends or even real as they are as well real friends of my clickers reality, whatever that one is. I'd like to thank those ones, who enrich my avatar life and allow me to survive emotionally (again, if I am able to feel emotions...) in this world.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Beginning

My name is Nadja Revnik. I'm nearly three years old. It feels like more as time runs in Second Life. That's the place where I was created. It was not love that created me, it was pure ratio. I was actually made for work. Shall I feel sad now? Well, if I could feel. Or can I? Could I even be without feelings or thoughts? Things like this steel my avatar sleep. And I am starting this blog to disburden myself. Maybe I will be able to catch some propper avatar sleep afterwards.