Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Second Life

Forbidden City in Beijing

Hello, my name is Mariko Nightfire. Today, I am celebrating the anniversary of my first year of virtual life in the cyber world of Second Life (SL). You might say that today is my SL birthday or my ‘Rezz Day’. For those unfamiliar with Second Life, it is a open world built and controlled by its residents under the benevolent (some say not so benevolent) dictatorship of the Lindens, certain employees of Linden Labs, the company behind SL. Second Life is a fully developed world inhabited by over five hundred thousand active residents who have arrived here from around the globe. There are marvelous lands in this world to visit and explore. Some are virtual representations of actual places. You can travel to the Forbidden City in Beijing, climb an Aztec pyramid in Mexico, ride a gondola in Venice Italy, or debate world events with Russians in Moscow’s Red Square. But most lands are the fanciful flights of creativity of some very talented people. Some are dazzling and magical. Others are dark and mystical. Exploring these lands in the company of your Second Life friends is one of the great joys to experience in this virtual world. Its like walking through and participating in works of art. Of course there are other activities, as wide a range as you will find in real life. I especially like to go to exhibits, attend live music performances, and go to clubs to dance and tease silly boys. I’ve even climbed into a boxing ring (and got whupped, but I’ll do better next time). Ahhh ... did I mention shopping? Second Life is one of the only virtual worlds whose residents legally own the content they create. The resulting trade in real estate, clothing, furniture and other goods has led to a robust in-world economy

The real draw of Second Life is the people you meet and interact with. It takes time to establish yourself and cultivate friendships and relationships. But friendships in this virtual world are as real and satisfying as those in the greater world. Its my friends here that keep me coming back to Second Life. Second Life a multicultural world with subcultures derived from nationality and subcultures derived from interests and proclivities. Of course, as in the real world, this virtual world does have its ugly side. But you can find community here and a home and a life. With this blog, I'll share my experiences in this virtual life and my thoughts on its culture and developments. As I love shopping for fashions in Second Life, I'll also show my latest finds and give information about the stores in which they can be found.