Week 1 - Exploring a New Life
My journey into Second Life began with choosing a persona which I felt reflected mine. I spent a while creating and moulding a character which I would be satisfied with. I chose a default avatar at the beginning in hopes of customising it soon after, however this process wasn’t as simple as I envisioned it to be. I am no stranger to online games and have spent a good bit of my childhood playing them, but the usual simple character customisation that I was so used to, was much different in Second Life. It required a greater deal of time and effort which left me frustrated and so I left my character as the default fairy avatar that it was. This minor struggle left me wondering; why was I so concerned about the appearance of my character? Most of us didn’t know what we looked like in real life anyhow.
Our first class in Second Life consisted of everyone ‘making friends’ with each other while trying to get used to the new environment. The methods of communication involved speaking through a microphone or simply by texting using the chat. I found that even though no one could see me behind my laptop screen, I was still anxious about using my voice via the microphone tool. It was a bit intimidating as I felt that while we were anonymous in a way, our voices left us exposed nonetheless as they revealed the ‘real’ us. However after some time into the lesson the idea of using my voice to communicate became less of a scary notion and I hope to participate more in the following classes.
To get more comfortable in this new world of ours, we were asked to explore Second Life and see what it has to offer. I paired up with HOfraser and together we ventured into this new unknown world that we now lived in. It was exciting to see what SL had to offer in terms of the places we visited. It allowed us to travel without ever needing to leave our homes. I used my newfound ability of flying to get a good view of scenery.
Normally I wouldn’t be so keen as to float above an ocean but I suppose my new life in SL helped me look past that. The scenery was amazing however a lot of the places we visited were very dark so we had to do some digging until we found somewhere where it was bright enough to continue our exploration.
Next we visited a palace in the sky where I took some nice pictures. The architecture of the building was stunning to look at but we didn’t spend very long at the palace as there was nothing else but a void around it. It was a shame as there would’ve been so much potential for more to exist there. I was impressed nonetheless.
Our next destination was the city of Tokyo which to be honest I expected more from. It was rather empty but I still managed to get some nice pictures. HOfraser started to experience some technical issues which we soon learned to be a regular occurrence in SL, but we reconnected and continued our journey while stopping to get a photo at the fashion centre.
We finished up our journey in the city of London which I was excited about as I’ve never visited the place in real life. Like many of the places we have visited, it was very quiet but I suppose that was a good thing considering we wanted to get some pictures without getting disrupted by other residents of SL. I passed by someone who screamed through their microphone and it gave me a fright; I forgot about the ability to speak in SL and needed to get used to it. We decided to say our goodbyes by the sea while the sun was setting and while the music played “My heart will go on,” from Titanic.
Until next time!