listen – laugh – love

A little taste of my Social Media love…

I Think I’ll Stick With My “Life”

on February 11, 2014

My task this week – create a profile in the virtual world, Second Life. Now, there are plenty of folks out there that love this site and really invest themselves into the lives of their avatars – I will not be one of those people!

To be completely honest, I found the entire process quite confusing and rather overwhelming. I had no idea where to go, who to talk to or what to do. I wasn’t able to find a single person to have a decent or informative conversation with…it took me ages to just find an English speaking avatar to attempt a conversation with.

AvatarI began by creating my avatar – I couldn’t find one that looked the way I wanted, so I chose a random girl and thought I would edit her features and clothes later. Once I had downloaded the service (which was not what I was expecting I would need to do), I dove right in! I started exploring the land that I was placed in and playing around with the control options (walking, running and flying). I was definitely awkward – I ran into walls and rocks and even fell off more than one bridge. I think my favorite part about those initial moments was discovering that I could walk UNDER water!?

Once I had gotten comfortable with the controls, I thought it would be nice to edit my avatar. AGH! I haven’t been that confused in a really long time! I tried to edit her outfit, her hair, her skin tone, her body…anything and everything! However, I was expecting something like the Sims (yep, I was once a Sims player) where it was just a wardrobe of clothing that I could select from. Either I’m completely clueless or that’s just not an option (I’m assuming it’s the first option…) because I kept making changes but nothing was happening to my avatar. I finally gave up and decided that my “gothic” character was just going to have to do – a real accurate representation of myself, huh?! 🙂

ClubCave

After I gave up on editing myself, I found a teleportation spot and zoomed away to The Cave Club. There wasn’t a lot going on in here; however, I did learn how to sit down while I visited The Cave Club! Big accomplishments, I know!

I teleported out of The Cave Club and visited a really strange place in the sky…I can’t remember the name of it. I wasn’t there long…I accidentally walked off the side of the platform and fell down…down…down to the place I first began! I was attempting to teleport to a lighthouse after that, but I got an invitation to teleport to a location in London and I accepted right away! I was teleported to what seemed to be a downtown shopping district location, complete with subway tunnels!

I started exploring the area and even added some “items” to my inventory – I’m still not entirely sure what this means or if I can use these items in any way. I found a dance machine and somehow got my avatar to dance…and then couldn’t figure out how to get her to stop, so we flew around while she continued to dance – a true talent I tell you! This London location was the first, and only, location that I was able to have a somewhat normal, albeit short, English conversation. Here is what was said:

somethingto: hi
lutt06: hello
somethingto: how are you
lutt06: just fine you
somethingto: i’m alright
somethingto: are you an alt
**Insert long pause while I Google what “alt” means in the world of Second Life**
lutt06: no

And then the conversation was over…riveting, right?! In my search for the meaning of “alt” in the world of Second Life, I found that folks will have a “main” profile/avatar and then often create spinoff or alternate profiles/avatars as well – thus, “alt” is born.

Dance

All in all, my experience was confusing, frustrating and not at all enjoyable. However, it’s obvious that many others do not share in my confusion or frustration. As you move about in the different lands, you can see the various level of detail that has been put into people’s avatars – there are beginners that looked exactly the same as me, there were characters that had a bit more editing done to them and there were avatars that were almost life-like they were so well done. While Second Life might be fun for some people, I think I will stick with my real life for now!

Questions to Ponder:

  • Did you face similar challenges during your first Second Life experience? If so, how did you navigate through them and were other users helpful in your journey?
  • There have been several educational institutions that have used Second Life or other similar platforms for learning/educational experiences. Would you be willing to learn “virtually’ through a platform like Second Life? What advantages/disadvantages would you assume to encounter with this type of experience?

Ta-ta for now!

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8 responses to “I Think I’ll Stick With My “Life”

  1. I’m happy that you at least figured out how to change your avatar’s appearance. I spent a good 30 minutes trying to figure it out and eventually gave up and stuck to a predesigned princessy looking girl (she reminded me of your girl Belle!). I thought it was very interesting to see all of the different worlds out there in Second Life too. I didn’t know there were so many! I really only explored three of them but after reading some of our classmates posts I wish I would have gone to more. One thing is for sure SL is very involved because of this I don’t think I would do well if I had to use this site as a learning tool! I was very distracted and the program didn’t work well on my Mac…I prefer Sakai much more!

    • Hi Alexis!

      Thanks for reading! Although I figured out how to change their appearance, I couldn’t get anything to save…so my girl is walking around in her best gothic attire. I agree, I didn’t explore nearly as many as some of our other classmates! If SL didn’t scare me so much, I might attempt to explore it again! I don’t think I would have the patience to use SL as a learning site either – there are way too many distractions and I have a bad case of “shiny object syndrome.” 🙂

  2. It most certainly is confusing when logging into the program. It took me an hour to understand any of it. I think this is a game in which there actually is a lot to do, therefore it would take you a while to learn everything. Time I didn’t have to say the least.
    As far as making your actual avatar, I found that somewhat difficult as well. I made a few adjustments to attempt to make it look like myself, but most people I encountered definitely took the immersed approach.
    Flying and dancing, something you’ve always dreamed of? Impressive to say the least 🙂
    I think this platform does provide educational value as far as giving a more humanization impact when talking to other people, as opposed to solely on the phone. Seems like it would be a lot easier if you were on there solely to talk to colleagues. I still prefer social media and programs like Skype.

    • Hi Gavin!

      Thanks for reading! I agree – the time it took to just learn the simple aspects of SL was really time that I didn’t have. I find it fascinating that other people actually DO have the time to not only master the simple things, but they have time to take it to a completely different level of accuracy and detail! Certainly something I will not be doing any time soon!

      Yes – my flying and dancing was rather entertaining. I kept going back to the dance machine that had me dancing in the first place and it was giving me no assistance whatsoever! So, I decided to move on and hopefully she would just stop dancing eventually – nope, sure didn’t! 😦

      I think that an education element to SL would be doable; but, I think that it would need to be a completely new spinoff program. It scares me to think about my kids (even in college) playing around in SL and having to go through the same frustrations as I did just to get my avatar to move! That doesn’t seem like a very good way to begin the education process in my opinion.

  3. smschira says:

    You’re braver than I am Lacee. I didn’t even go to high elevations and give my avatar a chance to fall down. It gave me way too much anxiety and I was very cautious when I moved around even one level up. I hated flying! David had a great tip about lowering yourself before you click “stop flying” so you don’t fall as hard. Too bad we probably won’t use the tip ever again. I’m glad you could walk under water, but could you walk on water a la Moses? 🙂 I never accepted anything from anyone after Lesley’s experience. Great post!

    • Hi Steven!

      Thanks for reading! I didn’t really intend to find the skyline club (or whatever it was called); I just kind of wound up there! The falling thing was actually kind of neat – I had already discovered that my avatar wasn’t going to die, so I was a little less nervous about falling from the sky! Yeah, I can’t say that I will be putting any tips or tricks to use in SL any time soon – once was enough for me! I didn’t really know what accepting items meant at the time – I think I was a bit too trusting!!

  4. jadorenhi says:

    Hi Lacee,

    I too enjoyed the fact that I could walk underwater. I was so afraid it was going to be like a video game where I would drown and it would be game over, but nope, you could just casually walk your way back to shore. I couldn’t figure out how to change my outfit either. At one point it gave me the option to completely change my avatar, but I was happy with the gothic girl.

    How in the world did you add items to your inventory? I eventually figured out that the circles everywhere were motion options, and as long as you “accepted” them, you could dance and such. You also made a great observation about the seasoned avatars. They looked completely different from us, and I think that made it easy to spot us as newbies.

    • Hi Nhi!

      Thanks for reading! I was nervous of that too in the beginning, but once I figured out I wasn’t going to die I think I walked under water more than I did on land! I’m pretty sure that my girl wound up with blue hair after I messed around with the settings, but that’s about as far as my editing skills went! I found my little gothic girl to be quite ironic by the end of everything!

      There were a couple of things that looked like food trucks in the London land that I went to – I just walked up to the truck and clicked on it. A menu popped up of things that I could ask for – most of them sounded terribly inappropriate, so I asked for some “bubbly.” It took maybe 30 seconds for a message to appear that the user had given me the item. Like I mentioned in my post, I have NO idea what to with the items or how to go about finding them!

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