Second Life? No thanks, I prefer to focus on my primary one.

Everywhere you look these days you find references to Second Life, a local application-based online, alternate reality where you can develop a character (boy, girl, fat, skinny, tall, short, whatever) and interact with other fictional persons by hanging around a crudely rendered fantasy landscape. (Wikipedia page on Second Life)

I suppose my lack of understanding of this sort of online behaviour trend is perfectly demonstrated by how I created my character: I tried to make her look like me. I made her short, medium build, attempted my real hair and eye colour… What I should’ve done was give myself a mohawk, big boobs, wings, and KISS boots, but my literal mind was in control. I’m rubbish at this fantasy life stuff and I haven’t fired up Second Life since creating a character. My curiosity took me only a few minutes further before I became irretrievably bored by the environment itself and making my character fly.

Another trend I never got into was The Sims. It’s referred to as a “strategic life simulation computer game.” Isn’t real life strategic enough for most people? Do we need more ‘life’ to strategically navigate through? I suppose there’s an appealing God psychology involved with creating a character and willing it through a life and landscape, but couldn’t that energy be used in bettering the real life/real world rather than spending precious limited heartbeats on pixelated simulations?

Perhaps I’m paradoxically old-fashioned when I say that immersing oneself in an alternate reality is a waste of time. Some would say that of the internet itself, which is where I make most of my work these days. I could be considered a digital age heretic for suggesting the simpler pleasure of a book over wasting away hours on a non-existent existence in Second Life or any other number of reality simulations out there. But in my humble opinion, real life is much more worthy of improving over plugging into a meaningless one that only exists on a hard drive.

Escapism is fine, but the plausible psychological damage created by fabricating a ‘second’ life in any environment seems like such a grand waste of humanity and potentially detrimental to the processes needed to cope with real life situations. A more healthy endeavour than calculating fictional riches and digi-social behaviour surely is to better our real lives instead of looking to fabricated ones for escapism, success, relationships, and pseudo-improvement.

Second Life? No thanks. I’ve got plenty to do in the real world. πŸ˜‰

(Don’t even get me started on why I think Reality TV is the next deadly plague leading up to the apocalypse!)

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6 thoughts on “Second Life? No thanks, I prefer to focus on my primary one.”

  1. Yeah I never got into the SIMS either, I have a copy for the Mac kicking around somewhere. I think it needed far too much attention and I was always thinking I could be doing something productive with this time. I have not had a look at Second Life but I have heard a lot about it recently. I think I’ll wait for the Holodeck πŸ™‚


  2. I’m so with you for a Holodeck! Until that technology is possible and affordable, I think I’ll stick to the real world too. πŸ˜€

    BTW, what are you still doing awake? Are you coding too? Damn deadlines…

  3. Hey! Reality TV is a good thing – how else are we to identify that portion of humanity that is pruneable?

    Sure, it’s existence is an affront to all that is good and decent in humanity, but what more effective marker is there than casually mentioning, in conversation, “So, what do you think of (Big Brother, Survivor, *star, *idol etc)?”

    It’s a terrible price to pay, allowing these television shows to be broadcast – just imagine, alien civilisations encountering our TV broadcasts as they radiate outwards, they’ll watch the development of out media based civilisation, come to the era of reality TV and think “what’s wrong with this species!?” but the payoff, oh the payoff. A world, crisp and fresh, filled with book readers, and without a market for reality TV.

    A true golden age awaits us πŸ™‚

  4. “Hey! Reality TV is a good thing – how else are we to identify that portion of humanity that is pruneable?”

    That is a genius observation Matt! I love it! πŸ˜€

  5. Hi jEN

    yeah I was coding doing some theme work but I decided I better get to bed only to have my brain go ‘you took away my plaything so you are not going to sleep for a few hours yet!’ I have made good progress with it this evening so I think I will be able to get some sleep tonight, have another 10K tomorrow so I’d better πŸ™‚


  6. Ha! I knew it! πŸ™‚

    Of course, I’m up late coding again tonight, but fortunately I don’t have a 10k run to be awake and alive for! Hope you get some sleep tonight and good luck Kev!

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