Saturday, September 8, 2007

An online space of one's own



I realized that one of the biggest appeals of SL is that I can carve out a space of my own here, although SL isn't so much a "room of one's own" for me as a "journey of one's own."

I treat SL kind of like traveling by myself. I start out somewhere and wander as the urge takes me, stopping and chatting with people if I feel like it, or avoiding people entirely. There are plenty of places to explore in SL, and I'm never without a destination.

Some good recommendations are here:
Amusing Wired article
Second Life Traveler
Second Life Herald

In SL, I can determine what my responsibility-free avatar does without anyone else's say, which is rare for a married woman with a kid. Of course, I wouldn't choose to get rid of my RL, but it's nice to have a place that's all my own, even if it's imaginary.

How imaginary is it? Now that's an interesting question.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Two SL heroes



This photo symbolizes a Jenkins-esque convergence moment for me. On the left is my favorite SL clothing designer, Hyacynth Tiramisu. In the middle, Angela Thomas, and there's my avatar on the right. We're all wearing Hyacynth's clothing.

A little earlier, Angela and I chatted about the possibility of an article about SL learning environments, and her desire to focus upon identity and community. Boy -- those ideas are central to my dissertation. Yes, sure, let's write an article about that!

We also briefly discussed the fact that we're roleplaying optimal body images in SL, and what that means. I'm playing a young woman with a balletic figure, Angela is obviously an attractive Amazonian brunette. IRL, we both self-profess to being short as well as (for me) mousy. This is what Stephenson promised us that the metaverse was for, however. Living out different/optimal selves.

What's amazing is that after a while, the SL "optimal self" tends to include wings, cat ears, and a tail, simply because -- why not?