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Friday, December 05, 2008


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Doubledown Tandino

I was thinking about commenting directly on her blog, but her blog seems whimsical...sort of a call out for support and companionship from people in similar scenarios.

Here is where I'll post my comment.

I find is sort of sad that someone needs to lie to their spouse about SL. The reason they would need to lie to their spouse is because they want to hide things. I'm not sure I see the point in trying to help someone or console someone who wants to live out their fantasies in SL, meanwhile trying to hide it from the closest person in their real life.

SLer seem to like to use the excuse by saying "they just wont get SL" when the truth in actuality is that they are ashamed that they feel the need to lie about their SL life. Her entire story was written expertly... by a writer... a writer that can disect a scene with specifics and descriptive detail.
.... I wonder why she doesn't want to talk to her husband? jmo, but I think this just shows that their relationship needs communication and honesty, and SL has nothing to do with it.

Gonta Maltz

1) Show your spouse to a computer, and explain its function
2) Using metaphors and short words illustrate the concept of the Internet
3) Take a break, wait a day or so to let the new ideas and concepts sink in
4) Explain the multiplayer video-games that many youths are playing.
5) Finally, introduce Second Life. How it is sort of like a video game, in that it has "three D" graphics and you can fly and do things not possible in real-life. How people can talk with "avatars" that are really just puppets controlled by people over the World Wide Web aka Internet. Etc.

Take it slow, you don't want to shock your partner so much that he or she believes you are a witchdoctor or magician: shrinking people down and placing them into glowing boxes, where you toy with them, ultimately harvesting their souls to grow your power and sphere of influence within the murky and rainy Otherworld.

Domchi Underwood

The main problem with people who hear about SL is the bad name. The first thought is always "Second Life? I don't need the escape from my first life, I like my first life just fine, thank you! Those people are anti-social geeks who don't have any friends."

This is the single pervasive negative reaction about SL I see from people who haven't tried SL and think negative about it.

The fact that Second Life is misnamed and that this initial reaction is so widespread is probably the biggest obstacle to SL being more widespread and perhaps the bigger problem to SL adoption than interface complexity and first-hour experience.


I'd say, 'You watch your TV and I'll play Second Life, if you don't like it you know where the door is!'

Doreen Garrigus

It is easy enough to explain Second Life to someone who doesn't understand. Talk about universities and businesses. Talk about commerce. Talk about live music, French classes and building things. Address the media's negative portrayal of it directly. Roll your eyes when you get to the part about kiddie porn.

But Night isn't going to be able to explain Second Life to her Real Life husband. She might have been able to, once, if she had taken him in and shown him around before she got into romantic virtual relationships. Now she has spent too long lying to him. He doesn't trust her anymore. And I don't blame him.

Isadora Fiddlesticks

I believe Domchi's comment strikes a chord. It's hard to tout SL as the next wave in technology and internet with such a name. People who try SL are usually out to have such--a Second Life, and some go to the process of being immersed in it to realize that it can be so much more.

There are a lot more people in SL with similar situations to Night, and are grappling with its complexities. I'm one of them, and I understand.

If you don't have this kind of situation in your hands...you are very lucky indeed. Count your blessings. You've just escaped from enduring and grappling on one of SL's great complexities while the rest of us wonder what to do with our situation. The least you can do is show us some empathy and not think of us as sad freaks.

It's not that I condone lying and hiding one's SL, but in some cases, one hides it because of their loved one's biased feelings against SL. Even if one's avatar is well behaved and is a good girl with a fine reputation, circumstances make her hide her SL. It's because one either does not know what to do about it, or, finds that one's loved ones are too stubborn or stuck to the "traditional ways" to change their outlook. This kind of disappointment is shattering.


I disagree with the issue with the name.
Second Life is Second Life. No one has suggested a name that is any better. More than that, I never have to put up with the "first life" comments- but thats because I always introduce it as an alternative to watching TV...

Describing it as better than sitting brain dead in front of crap re-runs and adverts selling me stuff I cannot afford; a form of entertainment which has real people not actors; who does not make me passive but an active part of it...

Generally stops the 'Get a first life' comments DEAD in about 15 second flat.
Say it with a smile on your face and you occsionally see some folks get REAL quietly mad... as their precious 'Get a first life' joke is wiped out by the nice relaxed and normal SL user in the corner...

Domchi Underwood

Danton, I see your point. The TV comparison is a great one, and I'll be using it from now on.

However, you're still only doing damage control. What you do works when you're present and able to offer additional explanation about SL. But what about people who know about SL only from media? They usually wonder why would anyone be involved is "something which is only an imitation of real life, but is just pretend life", and go on living their real life.

You and I know that SL is an extension of real life, like the most of the things you find on Internet, starting with e-mail... but many do not. That's why I say SL is misnamed, and WoW for example isn't. That's why first impression average person who hears about WoW gets is much more accurate than first casual impression about SL.

I myself got this impression from media, and was unable to grok what SL was since the first impression made no sense - but I also thought that there might be something more to it, and came to investigate. Many do not.

Unfortunately, I doubt changing the name would do much good, it's too late for that... maybe better communicating Philip's vision to the media would. But that's the key issue we need to be aware of - Philip's vision wasn't about a virtual world which is an escape from real world. It was about virtual world which enables people to do things physical world is too small for. Unfortunately, the name "Second Life" doesn't communicate that very well. Something like "Meta Life" might, but you don't get the second chance to make first impression.

Carolyn Saarinen

I'm not sure that I understand any of this. In my experience, people who use the well-worn expression 'get a (first) life' actually mean: 'Things I don't understand make me feel insecure, please get the same boring life as me and my boring friends.'
Why are Second Lifers, or any on-line community, 'sadder' or 'geekier' than the millions of IT illiterates who live vicariously through soap operas or invest all their emotions in sports teams? At least in SL you can create and make a contribution.
As for this fol-de-rol over spouses: I have never seen the rationale in committing yourself to someone who - from all appearances - doesn't understand you or even particularly like you. Life has tiresome compromises enough without letting dullards police your head.

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