Dancing Queen in Second Life
Second Life, (SL) a virtual world where you get to pick who you are, what you look like, where you go, where you live and who you interact with. A great escape from reality and one that I recommend highly.
I believed I had heard about the SL virtual world years ago but thought it may have went by the way side with all the new gaming society’s and virtual worlds available to us now. Surprisingly, after a little research I learned that June 2013 marked Second Life’s10th anniversary. Over the last 10 years, 36 million accounts were created, in the US $3.6 billion was spent on virtual assets and the equivalent total time users spent on SL is 217,266 years. Today, more than 1 million people visit Second Life monthly.
My journey into SL and becoming my alter ego (DI)
Here is the story after a very frustrating first go at joining and logging on there are tech issues that non-digital natives will be challenged by. Before actually logging on to SL I realized a download was needed before my avatar can actually start moving around in SL. This revelation wasted at least 4 hours of my time, so I would suggest that before any “newbie” wants to join SL they should spend some time going through YouTube videos to get a thorough understanding about navigating the SL landscape. That being said by the second day I finally was able to log onto to SL for the first time as (DI). DI’s appearance nowhere represents my own and her profile is completely separate from the “real” me. I thought, hey, if I am going to have a second life, I may as well enjoy it.
When first logged on as alter ego DI she and I had some problems orienting ourselves on the simplest of navigation. How to move, talk or even what to do next was the first order of business. Instead of attending Orientation Island first, which I learned later was the best plan of action; I just started clicking on destinations. After clicking around I found DI on Bondi Beach, but unable to converse with anyone. She was barely moving about and I was no help.
Later DI ended up in a club of some sort and before entering the club she was given a warning that this location may include adult content and that she would have to allow the content by clicking “allow.” Once DI was in the club there was nothing out of the usual happening visually, but we both noticed there was a conversation going on to the right. DI and I began viewing the conversation box and while listening realized very quickly that this club was not the place for me or DI. So I transported us out of there and with a simple click began searching for different destinations.
Going forward and for good reason DI and I are now taking our travels more seriously and will tread more carefully to the new destinations we visit. After a few dozen clicks I found a few destinations dedicated to new avatars to SL. DI and I finally agreed upon a destination called The Shelter an 80’s dance club that was established on August 20, 2004 for brand-new avatars on SL. The atmosphere was very friendly; I was welcomed in by the Shelter my arrival was announced to all!
Although still not completely mobile at this point, I felt comfortable enough at The Shelter to start testing DI’s new powers. During our time in the Shelter DI honed her skills at walking forward and back and side to side. After mastering those skills, DI wanted to join the dance party which she was watching from the sidelines. The other avatars dancing looked like they were having fun so DI joined the conversation box and asked how she could join the others dancing. A nice avatar stepped forward to explain that DI could start dancing by clicking the white globe on the dance floor and before long she was out there.
Of course there were more than a few technological difficulties on DI’s virtual journey. The first being that for about twenty minutes DI’s skirt was missing, later her hair was cut short with no explanation and finally once DI’s animation mode for dance was enabled we could not figure out how to turn it off.
As a result when DI visited other locations, like shops, beaches and events she was still jerking about and dancing like the Dancing Queen she is.