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I’m not sure if Second Life is as cool as Facebook or as outdated as MySpace.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…
- I have a great connection, but it takes a very long time to load Second Life‘s home page in my Firefox browser.
- 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.
- They are asking me to type in my first name but select a second name from a pre-populated list.
- Now I’m obsessing: What is the significance of the Second Life‘s last names? Is there a last name that I should avoid?
- 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.
- First Name: Lucy (my cat)
- Last Name: Roux (since it reminds me of Ruettimann)
- 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?
- 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.
- I’m frustrated.
- 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.
- I was just asked to upgrade and spend money. That didn’t take long, did it?
- I don’t even know what this site does for me — why would I upgrade?
- Now I have to download something large.
- This is a pain in the ass.
- I just installed software.
- I picked an avatar. I’m a school girl because, well, the choices are limited.
- Thanks for the gender stereotypes, Second Life.
- Alright, I’m here. I am finally online.
- There are naked people next to me. There are naked computer bodies. Weird.
- None of us know how to maneuver our avatars.
- Why does this look like a boring version of World of Warcraft?
- The husband just said, “I don’t think you can kill anyone on Second Life. What’s the point?”
- I still can’t move my avatar but I can look around.
- Where am I going?
- What am I supposed to do?
- Is this like an IM tool or something? Do I talk to the creepy, zombie-bodies around me?
- This is boring. I just figured out how to lift my hand. Great.
- 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.