Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What RL thinks about having a Second Life.

“For those of you that don’t know, Second Life is a giant online video game where people can establish alternate realities for themselves. I don’t like Second Life. I don’t get the appeal of it, I don’t want to get the appeal of it, and I have open disdain for it. We were talking about a couple in class the other night that was having marital difficulties because the husband was married to another woman in the game Second Life. While it could not be considered adultery, even though their avatars were having sex online, it could be considered grounds for divorce and in some cases it has been. (And really if you haven’t had avatar sex with someone with a horses head, well I guess you haven’t lived.)”

These are the first sentences of an article posted on Pointlessbanter.net. You can imagine that this guy, who wrote the article have never been on Second Life, or at least not long enough to realize what SL can mean besides Slex.
He is probably not interesting in web interactivity, programming, technology, and the internet in all his facets.
According the author, the stats show that the usage for second life isn’t there compared to other social networks.The TECHNOLOGY of second life might be a base for something larger in the future but right now it is just the SIMS on steroids.

But in fact the article is about having relationships on SL while being married in RL. There are so many posts about this subject, but this was an article on a blog, not related to SL, and that is what it made interesting.

“Sometimes you need an outlet that you might not be getting at home. Your significant other might not have the same interests, so it is good to discuss certain topics with people online, establish some friendships. That is totally logical, but when it gets to the point where you are getting married to another character and banging them, well haven’t we crossed the line a tad?”

And he is absolutely right, when reading those lines, it does not make sense, it is totally absurd, having Slex on the net.
But it is not the main reason why I was interested in this post. It is just another example how people, not related with SL, think about the virtual world. In fact there is only one thing that we do in SL and that is Slex.

There is nothing else to do here, or didn’t you know that?

Forget about building, creating, coding, not to mention my experiences on photoshop with the help of SL.
They might be correct by saying that the stats are not entirely comparable with other social networks, but I saw yesterday evening that there were already more than 62.000 people on the grid. So the interest is still growing, and I am convinced not only for the Slex.


Ryker Beck said...

If there's 62,000 people on the grid, and they're all having SLEX... where the hell are they all??? Cuz *I* sure ain't gettin' laid. Wtf, SL??? LOL!!!! *runs off to her Wyatt*

Looker Lumet said...

I was there too Ryker, and I did not see anyone boinking around, ;))
But, if we have to believe all those messages from RL, and interviews, and documentaries about SL, we must have logged in to another virtual world.

Zippora Zabelin said...

I'm not building, photographing or anything. I didn't have a SL-relationship with SLex involved before my sixth month. What am I doing here? I haven't got a clue, but it's fun :D

Looker Lumet said...

It should be fun, Zippora, that is why we all are here! And as you said, even when you don't do all these things as building....etc., you can still enjoy the grid with your friends, but who will believe that in RL?

Veronique said...

"But, if we have to believe all those messages from RL, and interviews, and documentaries about SL, we must have logged in to another virtual world..."

In fact Looker: you, me, and most people that are already in SL for some longer time DO log in in another world, in another, limited, version of SL.
Once somebody finds something interesting to do in SL, like in your case photography, I find that many times people start to move around in closed circles.
Look at your friends list, compare it with the links to other blogs on your blog, and check who e.g. your Flickr contacts are... quite a limit world, isnt it?
And where do we many times go to? Events organised by the groups we belong to.. places recommended or seen on pictures from friends that have +/- the same interests as we do..
We many times dont see what is happening outside our little world anymore.. and we think that because we, and most people we know are busy with "creative" stuff, most other do too..

But I fear the thruth is, and me too I would love to deny it : a big part of SL does revolve around SLex.
Just visit a newbie area, and listen how many questions there are about where they can have SLex.
Look in search and check how many free-sex, escort clubs, nudebeaches etc there are.. try to tp to one of these places.. you will be surprised about the amount of people present there.. doing what? because the lag is horrible.. Sometimes you even cannot tp there because the region is full..
Go to a dance club... many have girls working on the poles.. stripping, or even offering other "services" if you are prepared to pay.. many clubs have even special rooms for that..
Not taking into account the amount of houses with a animated bed in them..
The mass of people looking for somekind of "relationship" inhere.. You should just see the IM with "propositions" I get sometimes... hell, and I evend dont have megaboobs or a J-Lo butt..

It is true what you say... there are the creative people.. the builders, scripters.. or the roleplayers... who are merely for that in SL.. but one has to be honest.. we are talking about a minority here.
I dont think the media are to blame for the way they report about SL.. The way they are picturing it corresponds with the reasons why many/most people are involved in it..: money/doing business and/or relations/cybersex.

Looker Lumet said...

Up to a certain point I can agree with you, Veronique, but I don't think that I am moving in a closed circle, as I meet constantly new people, explore new sims, but indeed, they are maybe all related to what I am doing: photography. But I can not say that my friends list is limited. The friends on my blog, on flickr and on the grid are not necessarily all and the same. There are of course some that you would see in all of the three lists, but there are still a lot of people in the lists that I never met. For example, I met Cindy Kelsey, who is linked from and to my blog, only last Saturday.
But yes, you are right, I am not interested to explore those places where you talk about. I have seen that already in my early days in SL. It could be a reason for some of the newbies to log in on SL, but is it still the main reason to stay on the grid? After you discovered new experiences, which have nothing to do with Slex.
As Ryker also said in her comment, if there were 62.000 people on line that evening, were the majority having Slex at that time? I don't think so.
It would be great when a reporter not only would visit SL for a story, because you can bet on it that he would write again about the same subjects, but stay a little longer in SL to find out what his interests really are, and see what a virtual world can offer besides all the negative publicity.
But to be perfectly clear Veronique, I really appreciate your view on this issue, as it could open some new perspectives in this article.

Veronique said...

oops... what did I do? :-)

here it goes again:

When I said limited, I didnt mean limited as an amount Looker... but .. lets say... its limited because the pool one is fishing in..
It isnt a reproach... just a conclusion.

Of course those 62000 online were not all having SLex.. but I am pretty sure a couple of 1000's were busy with related stuff...
Waiting for clients, hanging around in places...
just to give an example.. try to tp to an "orgie" area once... if its a popular one, big chance you even cannot tp there... area full... on the contrary, go to a high profile "artistic" SIM, like Rezzables Cannery, or another one by the same developer.. many times those are used as positive examples of how SL should be... but most of the time you will find yourself alone there...

You are completely right that SLex get boring after a time, and it cannot be the reason to stay on the grid. (beside for some exceptions)..
But is that maybe the reason why there were ONLY 62000 last sunday? After the millions that made an account? SL doesnt show the numbers anymore, but last time I saw it it were like 12 million or so registrations, if I am not mistaken.. where did they all go... why didnt they find interesting stuff to do, after the SLex..?
(btw, how many of those 60 000 are newbies???)

So, its a vicious circle, a selffulfilling prophecy.. the media talk about the SLex aspect of SL, so people get curious and are attracted to it, so the media can report about it,..

And dont get me wrong.. I am not promoting, nor do I have anything against this whole SLex industry.. in my early days I did dance too.., while now it doesnt interest me anymore..

I just think we must be realistic... accept things the way they are. And try to draw some attention to the other side of SL... our SL... by showing the world what there is possible in this second life, besides the sex stuff.

The problem is, the way it is mostly done, by showing SL Art in "exclusive" magazines or galleries, and by denying that SL is what it is for most of its users, a kind of elitist image is created. And the media are not interested in stories about that. Because this relative small elite, and the things they are busy with, are only known and of interest for the people of their own circles.. And that doesnt sell newspapers..

Looker Lumet said...

You have a point there Veronique, those articles will not sell at all, but nevertheless I think that the opposite side of Second Life may be shown in RL too, and I think we can make our little contribution too with the things we do. At least we can try.
No, I know, I am not naive, but just standing beside the line doing nothing will not help either.

Anonymous said...

Well, SLex can have a large impact on your RL. In my case, I broke up because of my SL-fling. Because we took it to RL. My RL-husband finally found out. I am not stupid, I knew exactly what I was doing. As long as my RL husband didnt find out, things are ok, well, at least that's what I thought.
This happens, now I have got to face the consequences. Imo my RL relationship probably wasn't that important to me, for me to look somewhere else. Kinda in a contemplating mood. People are easy to be judgemental. Well, I was born alone, and I will die alone. And in the meantime, gotta make something of my life.

Looker Lumet said...

ouch....,"anonymous", who ever you are, that will have quite an impact on your RL indeed.
I assume there are more individuals who are in the same situation, but I hope it will not be the majority of Second Life.
And after hearing such a story, I can only imagine what RL thinks of SL...
I hope that, at the end, everything will fall in its place for you, and that you will be able to find happiness again in your life!