Tuesday, March 11, 2008

One-and-a-half Life

Second Life intrigues me. Millions of people gadding about, creating whatever they want and doing as they please in a completely user-maintained environment. No shooting, no competition, just wandering around.

Maybe it's the similarities with the Metaverse from Snow Crash (a fave). Maybe it's my HR-geek sensibilities, since companies all over use it. Whatever it is, I want to know more.

Now that I am the proud owner of the star-blessed lappy-so-happy, I am actually able to run Second Life (albeit with limited graphics). I set myself up a character, skimmed the orientation stuff, played dress-up, and got to it.

But, got to what? What the heck do people do on this thing? My initial wanderings produced nothing to maintain my interest. One of the sites I reference from time to time in my steamjournalism is The Heliograph and this guy talks a lot about a steampunk locale in Second Life. I figured I'd swing by.

Okay, so Victorian-style buildings, Victorian-style clothes... by this point I still haven't figured out the draw. By happenstance I come across a library. Someone has built a library, making public domain Vic Lit available to read in-game. I pull up a chair and start on some Jules Verne.

In other words, I end up doing EXACTLY WHAT I DO IN REAL LIFE.

Alex in real life:

Alex in Second Life:

Apparently, the way I live my Primary Life is pretty well-suited to me. Even in a fantasy world, I end up holed up somewhere with my nose in a century-old book.