Second Life to Supplement the First One


Let me say something for the record: I am not cool. I am not trendy. It will probably come as no surprise that — after many months of media coverage — I am now just looking into Second Life.

I’m not sure if Second Life is as cool as Facebook or as outdated as MySpace. I heard that employers of the future will ditch behavioral interviews and opt for experiences that take place in a virtual world. Frankly, I’m surprised that I went this long without knowing that Second Life was in existence. It challenges me to ask myself — is it Second Life that didn’t exist or is it me who didn’t exist?!

I have some burning questions:

  • Why do all the cool kids want you to think that Second Life is so important but also so six months ago?
  • When did we move from dial-up AOL to a new web platform? Did I miss something?
  • Where would Derrida stand on the use of language and the mechanisms of communication in Web 2.o?
  • Who am I kidding? Like I know where Derrida stands on anything. I just wrote that to appear all academic & stuff. I’m really full of crap. Let me drop another fancy name just to impress you and make you think that I went to graduate school: Foucault.

Back to the real reality: I decided to sign up for Second Life and live blog my experiences. Are you ready to experience my Second Life? I’m not sure if I am…

  1. I have a great connection, but it takes a very long time to load Second Life‘s home page in my Firefox browser.
  2. I was asked to pick a community and/or act as a beta tester for a voice-enabled Second Life community. I can’t beta-test anything without a headset and a microphone, so I declined.
  3. They are asking me to type in my first name but select a second name from a pre-populated list.
  4. Now I’m obsessing: What is the significance of the Second Life‘s last names? Is there a last name that I should avoid?
  5. I just read that I can’t change my name. Ever. It warns me to pick wisely. Second Life is much like my first life — with consequences & shit.
  6. First Name: Lucy (my cat)
  7. Last Name: Roux (since it reminds me of Ruettimann)
  8. Okay, I’m on the verge of an anxiety attack. Did I pick a cool name? Is it stupid? Will the Second Life kids make fun of me?
  9. Now a new, stupid question: Why do the developers want me to use my real birthday in Second Life? In my second life, I would be twenty-four and not thirty-two.
  10. I’m frustrated.
  11. It took me three times to enter the verification code. Either I need bifocals because I’m so damn old (thanks for reminding me, Second Life!), or this step needs some improvement.
  12. I was just asked to upgrade and spend money. That didn’t take long, did it?
  13. I don’t even know what this site does for me — why would I upgrade?
  14. Now I have to download something large.
  15. This is a pain in the ass.
  16. I just installed software.
  17. I picked an avatar. I’m a school girl because, well, the choices are limited.
  18. Thanks for the gender stereotypes, Second Life.
  19. Alright, I’m here. I am finally online.
  20. There are naked people next to me. There are naked computer bodies. Weird.
  21. None of us know how to maneuver our avatars.
  22. Why does this look like a boring version of World of Warcraft?
  23. The husband just said, “I don’t think you can kill anyone on Second Life. What’s the point?”
  24. I still can’t move my avatar but I can look around.
  25. Where am I going?
  26. What am I supposed to do?
  27. Is this like an IM tool or something? Do I talk to the creepy, zombie-bodies around me?
  28. This is boring. I just figured out how to lift my hand. Great.
  29. I’m turning this off.

There you have it. Second Life is a major disappointment. I wonder if the future of the world will take place in a virtual space and human bodies will be stored in pods and hooked up to computers — just like the first Matrix.

In any case, I finally discovered a place where my real life is more interesting than my Second Life.

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