Category: Second Life

For more information on Second Life, see my “Virtual Reality” page.

Perpetual twilight in the Beast’s castle.

NaNoWriMo took much more out of me, creatively, than I expected. Every day this week I have attempted to compose a complete Holidailies entry and failed. But it isn’t all NaNoWriMo’s fault. I’ve been battling the dreaded lurgy since the last week of November, and now this part of the world has been plunged into perpetual twilight.

All right, so it’s nothing so dramatic. But on the greyer days, the sky never lightens completely, and “daytime” is around nine in the morning to three in the afternoon. It can feel rather bleak. Add to that the blustery weather, which has been providing my subconscious with a fun soundscape, especially what sounds like a cut-rate radio drama generic ghost sound wandering the halls with a “whoooooOOOOOOOoooooo!” in the middle of the night.

So what’s a sick, sleep-deprived, creatively-stagnant, FunkyPlaid-missing swan to do?

Mystic Bastion.

You’re right. Touring spooky castles in virtual reality is a spectacular idea.

DRD’s Mystic Bastion is more than an astounding homage to the Beast’s castle from “Beauty and the Beast”. This castle and all of its furnishings are gacha prizes. If you aren’t familiar with gacha, picture those vending machines containing little plastic toys that can be won for a coin. In Second Life, this method of winning random prizes has become a bit of a phenomenon. The end result is elaborate sets like this one.

Upon entering.

For a brief moment, I played gacha machines in Second Life. I stopped because it hits me square in that crazy “collector” place in my brain I try to avoid, the one that says I have to have complete sets of anything I aim to collect. So although I don’t partake anymore, I do enjoy seeing the result of healthy creative competition, especially when the end result is a gigantic castle.

Which one of us is the Beast?

So in the half-darkness, I creep around the creations of others and try to kickstart my own inspiration.

In the Beast's library.

I’m not a fan of fairytales, but I sure do appreciate a gorgeous library.

Photo credits: my own raw snaps from Second Life. Click through each pic for creator credits.

A self called nowhere.

There’s no escaping the fact that we’re all fragile bags of meat. Today my immune system bottomed out. This happens more frequently than I would like, and when it does, there is not much to do but wait it out with rest and lots of water.

Occasionally when this happens I like to set aside the bag of meat for a little while and pretend I am hale and hearty and having adventures. Second Life lets me experience things like virtual ice-skating in a remote winter wonderland instead of just sitting at home, feeling miserable, with the wind blowing hard outside. I am grateful.

[SL] Ice-skating.

It is very important for me to maintain my spirits when I get ill. I too easily fall into the trap of feeling guilty, upset, depressed, or otherwise disappointed in myself for being sick, which is pointless and stupid but I do it anyway. This only prolongs the recovery period. Sometimes a frivolous distraction is exactly what I need to recalibrate.

[SL] Ice-skating closeup.

Tomorrow I will jump on that ever-growing pile of emails. Tonight I’ll skate, leaving faint traces on virtual ice in an invisible world.

Writing from: bed, with the electric blanket cranked up to 11. Listening to: “A Self Called Nowhere” by They Might Be Giants.

Day 52 of Project 365: social (second) life

This morning I got all worked up about an email on my school’s listserv about how social networks don’t really build community online. I was properly fuming over it … and it wasn’t even 9am. It did not bode well for the rest of my Saturday.

So I made a decision not to think about anything school- or work-related all day today.

It was a great success. Among other things, I spent some time with friends in Second Life, something I hadn’t done for a couple of months. I was even able to make my friend Lou‘s weekly trivia game.

Here is a snap of Lou and me after the game, enjoying our “non-existent” online community.

52.365: social (second) life

For decades now, I have spent time connecting with people online. Some of my closest friendships are with people I rarely, if ever, see in person. It no longer seems strange to me, but I understand how it could seem strange to others. I value online and offline friendships for different reasons, and am very fortunate to have the benefits of both.

The very thought of you.

There is so much loveliness in Second Life, but I have a pretty specific aesthetic. I have grown so attached to my mohawk that other hairstyles just don’t look right to me anymore.

But when Miss Shippe released her Weep for the World makeup, I had to mix it up a bit.
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