Friday, December 5, 2008

I'm different in SecondLife...

I was working on this tree and wondering for the nth time why it is nothing I create turns out the way I think it will. I joke all the time about really needing to create a plan "next time" but the comment is more serious than I let on.

I would never start a consulting project without a detailed plan. I just wouldn't - I might not know the content of the finished result, but I would certainly know exactly how I was going to get to it. Nothing I've built in SL has had a plan - or if it did, the plan didn't survive the first 5 minutes.

That tree trunk up above - that's not how I thought this tree would look. I hesitate to describe my building style as "organic" cause that's too much of a pun. But it is organic. Things I build seem to rely much more on an evolutionary development approach than I would have ever expected.

Every now and then I try and figure out why my approach is so different from rl - and why it actually works. I think I've finally found the answer - and it's one I'm sure you all already know.

It's the delete function. Nothing I'm doing in the creative/development process is permanent. I can erase it and start again - no harm, no foul. Because of that my whole approach to this life can be different.

The downside of this, of course, is that you can extend that approach to all aspects of SL if you want to. And I've watched people do it. If they screw up - or screw around - or screw with somebody else - they erase their identity and start again. Our interactions can be disposable - we can walk away from them.

What that means - I think - is that the success of the "community" will rely on the sense of "self" of its residents. How much rl personality, values, behaviours you invest in your av will dictate how disposable you consider it. And if it's disposable - you can wreck havoc without worrying about the consequences. If everybody viewed SL as "just a game" and their personnas as disposable - I don't think it would be a place I wanted to visit.

The fact that SL is as successful as it is - tells me that most of us are trying for a non-disposable SecondLife. We might role play - but even within that context we are sincere and responsible.

Having said all that - from a building perspective - I really love the delete function. :)


Anonymous said...

Very thought provoking Honour!

Anonymous said...

The other end of the spectrum from the "disposable persona" is the possibility of getting "stuck" with choices made too hastily or without sufficient knowledge. Call it a "stagnating persona," if you will.

The one constant in this or any world is that people change. Sometimes that involves ending relationships or discontinuing activities that prevent growth or prove harmful, or that real world realities make impossible. It may appear from one perspective that such a person is "disposing" of his or her persona, but the reality may be much more complicated than that.