Saturday, 26 May 2007

Not-a-meme #17: State Thy Groups

Ok, I'll humor you Vint. Here it goes...


This used to be the place to go if you really needed a good laugh. Playdoh noobs discovering sex balls is a hilarious thing to observe.

Cuppycake Gumdrop

Friends of probably the craziest woman I ever came across in SL.

Design's by AZULL

I like the lady, not sure about the designs ;-)

Fool's Paradise

Loki Fool's live music place is a very nice place to hang out. She always has talented people on her stage and she manages Nad Gough, one of the funniest performers in SL.

Hummingbird Cafe

Dimi and Leira's stage at Menorca. THE place to be for good music.

Ignorance is Bliss

Sinister Undertone's friends group. He's the better half of a dear friend of mine. Not sure why I'm in this group though. Could have something to do with access to their place.


Should nix this one since the group no longer exists. We made this group when preparing a surprise party for the admins of PSST stood for "Party Secret Slprofilers Team" :-)

Public Sex Commission

The Heavens Above the Clouds group. It used to be a fun place to go. Despite the name it had little to do with sex. Sure the poseballs were there but it was more of a meeting place then anything else. Haven't been there in a good long while. Wonder is it still exists.

Ready or Not Vip's

I'm not a club person but since a few of my friends worked there at one point I ended up with this one.

Rhythm Collective

Another live music place. Think we've got a theme going on here?

Second Life Bloggers

... what can I say ...

Shiloh's retreat

She is my oldest and dearest friend in SL. I'll retreat with Shiloh to Shiloh's retreat anytime :-)

SL Belgium

Oh well, why not be a little patriotic.

SL Belgium V.I.P.-Club

See above

Slutty By Nature

Someone once convinced me I had a golden future as a male escort and made me part of her group. Never had a single customer. Not that I ever made an effort ;-)


More music...

The Bloody Resort

For a while I actually had a roof over my head. Lilly Fizz was kind enough to offer me a small cottage in the shadow of her huge castle. I lived there for a month or two free of charge. The place was converted to a mall. All that's left now is the impressive castle.

The Hollows

Really can't remember where this one came from.

The Stage

Even more music.

I guess you could say I'm not big on groups. I absolutely dislike group IM spam. Most of my groups are there for reason of access to places or announcements of music events.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Sometimes 2 + 2 = 5

About two months ago I was talking to Mecca, a dear SL friend about the site where we met. It's a profiles site backed by a fairly active community that has been building up momentum over the last few months. Almost inevitably we ended up talking about Yo & Jaxi, the couple who actually started and run the place which must be a considerable amount of work. We decided that with SLP's first anniversary coming up it would be nice to do something to thank them for their efforts. After all, they have given us a fun and convenient way to stay in touch and share even outside SL.

We agreed right from the start it would have to be something carried by the SLP community so we sent out a whole slew of messages to those most active on the site. A committee was set up, plans were made and discussed. All that resulted in a big surprise party in SL with two live acts, a video presentation, fireworks, a present for Yo & Jaxi, donations made in their name to Relay For Life and SLP T-shirts for all. It was a blast.

Now back to the title. All of this would have been possible if only a handful of people had taken it upon themselves to organise all of it but what made this special was the joint effort, the clash of ideas and opinions. Granted the end result may have looked a bit eclectic in style but I don't think anyone there even noticed and it was so much more then just "a party".

These days companies set up shop in SL. Nice polished buildings with slick textures on fancy sims. Professional work. Looks great but where is the soul? I'll prefer the community effort anytime. It may not look as perfect, but it reflects the SL spirit that much more. Personally I think SL is losing that spirit little by little. As SL grows and draws the attention of commercial interest groups I fear it's inevitable.

Thankfully there will always be places on the grid where intelligent and creative people get together and come up with crazy, brilliant or right out wacky ideas and projects. Hopefully some of those will eventually spill over into the commercial venues and if that happens who knows what the future has in store for SL.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

SL Drama

Ok, so what's the most discussed thing in SL if you forget about Vint and more recently child pornography? No doubt in my mind it's SL relationships and all the drama they entail. On a daily basis I read testimonials from people who fell in love, made friends for eternity or feel they've been lied to, cheated on, abused and worse. People who then turn around and pour their, often wounded, heart out for all to see. What is it with SL and this emotional exhibitionism? I have my ups and downs and those who know me will notice, just like friends in RL would. If I had a really crappy week I may even post something about it, but still it will not go beyond what people around me in RL would know.

Sure, we all know the absence of physical presence creates an environment in which one can remain anonymous and enjoy the relative safety it provides so people are more likely to confide in others. We also need to fill in the blanks this absence causes which makes people project their wishes and expectations onto others but still that doesn't explain it. The same was true in text chat and although it had it's share of drama it was never like SL. I wonder if it could have something to do with the fact we primarily rely on our eyes to interpret things and we subconsciously replace the blanks with what SL shows us thus projecting the pretty/sexy/feminine/masculine/well dressed/etc. av onto the real person behind it causing us to be attracted to them.

Throw in the fact you can, more easily then in RL, hide the less desirable sides of your personality and I guess it could explain why people all over SL fall head over heels all the time. Unfortunately reality catches up sooner or later for one of the parties involved and what was perceived as very real suddenly is nothing but a fantasy and a new drama is born.

I'm sure there are other reasons as well, but the addition of a visual aspect that fools our judgement for a while accounts for a lot I think.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Locked Out

Forced by circumstances (my main pc died on me and it will take some time to get it fixed) I had to abstain from SL this weekend and will probably have to do so most of next week. I find it hard not to be able to log on and talk to people I've come to consider friends. Most of them know by now why I'm not around and I'll be back as soon as I can, but still it annoys me. Thankfully there are alternative ways of communicating. Bug your friends with mail to IM messages or through SLprofiles is always an option but it isn't quite the same as actually being there (come to think of it .. if you have never seen the movie "Being There" go and rent the DVD... NOW!).

That said it did give me the time to think about what I want with this blog. I got some thought provoking comments on the previous post and found TianaMeriman's blog because of it. I think I'll be writing a "Woman in SL part II" soon. If I find the time that is . I don't know how some people do it. Maintain a first and a second life, jobs in both, relationships in both, blog about all of it *shakes head* ... not sure I can.

Friday, 11 May 2007

woman in SL

Ok, so it took me a while to get started. Honestly, if it wasn't for Vint twisting my arm and the fact I can't spend much time in SL due to computer trouble, I might have just deleted this blog. Then again, I read something earlier today that puzzled me and got me thinking. It was a heartfelt cry from someone who just found out her longtime SL girlfriend is in fact a man. The comment list was full of echoes of woman telling her the same happened to them.

Emma, a very dear friend of mine recently had exactly the same happening to her. She is bi in RL but never came out of the closet because, according to her, the place where she lives is a little anal about these things (go figure). Anyway, she found SL and fell in love with a pretty girl, Anna, she spent days and nights talking to (and I doubt it ended there). Since they didn't live all that far apart in RL after a while the inevitable question was raised whether or not they would or should carry their relationship over to RL. The idea was prodded and poked thoroughly but never materialised. Enter in SL Anna's RL boyfriend who starts hitting on Emma and asking her questions about Anna. After a while Emma did the math and confronted Anna with her suspicion; namely that pretty boy and Anna were one and the same. Anna confessed to being a man and walked away leaving my friend heart broken.

These stories leave me with a couple of questions. I can see the lure of being able to make some quick Linden $ as a dancer, model or escort using a female alt, but how can you string someone along well beyond the point where real feelings have started to blossom. Who can be that cruel? The often heard "SL is SL and RL is RL"-excuse is only true up to certain point. You would really have to lack any empathy not to notice things have progressed beyond SL. On the other hand I guess empathy is a typically female skill.

What also puzzles me is why so many woman in SL seem to start relationships with other woman. The number or girl/girl couples in SL is a few factors higher then in RL. Why is that? I have wondered if it has something to do with the fact woman are maybe more imaginative and susceptible to suggestion. I don't want to stereotype but I can't come up with an other explanation. Speaking as a man it is almost as if we are obsolete. At a stretch we're almost second rate second life citizens. I can't say I like that. Not only do we always have to take in account every pretty lady could be a guy in disguise, those of us being honest about our gender are often kept at a distance by the ladies of SL. Maybe that creates some sort of vicious circle.

I'd love to hear your opinion on this so by all means leave your comments.

Oh, all names mentioned are fake for obvious reasons.