Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Initial Thoughts about Second Life

I created an account on SL a few months ago but couldn't figure it out and let myself get frustrated and give up. I am trying it again now and it starting to make sense since I have learned how to communicate with others online and travel around SL. Even being new to SL I am surprised with some of the reactions I have. For instance, I was experimenting with how to change outfits and was on one of the freebie islands with free outfits (skins?) and I did not know I could drag and drop outfits on top of other ones to change. Instead, I used the "take off" option before changing outfits and all of a sudden my avatar was exposed, completely naked in a very "public" place. My initial reaction was shock and embarrassment. I was then surprised at this. Technically, that is only an image on the screen of a "not real" person/avatar - it is not actually myself naked in the middle of a shopping mall. At the same time, however, despite only being online for less than an hour I felt like part of myself was already a part of the avatar or at least represented by it, so it felt like it was myself naked and exposed. At least the avatar had some clothes on by the time Professor Farber showed up, although it was in the first free outfit I could find and it resembled something a stripper might wear. I feel like my avatar should be dressed in a "decent" fashion that I myself might wear when I have a meeting with a professor. I also recognize that SL is a chance to recreate oneself, or to completely create a new person/character. It should just seem like images on a computer screen that really do not matter, but it does. I also feel somewhat superficial using my first entry to blog about clothes, even if they are online clothes, but I think the relationship between myself and the avatar might be an interesting one to explore.

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