I joined (if that is the right word) Second Life some time ago, but didn’t have the time to really fiddle with it much till this morning. I quickly (too quickly perhaps) finished with the basics, and dove (er, flew) in.
For those unfamiliar with it, Second Life is described by its creators as “… a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 2,142,455 people from around the globe.” Now, I’ve never been much of a gamer, but this sort of world-building is right up my alley and I knew it would be something I’d enjoy (and a time-sucker as well). Unlike earlier online environments like MOOs and MUDs, Second Life isn’t as text-dependent; in fact, its events and commidification made me think a lot of Neal Stephenson’s Metaverse.
After cleaning up my appearance a bit, dashing through the Orientation Island activities (no doubt a mistake, but I was impatient), I’ve been attempting to get the lay of the land. That means I’ve been in the water a lot and having a mighty hard time getting where I want to go. At one point I saw a really pretty garden with fountains, was unable to get to it (my navigating and teleporting skills being pretty sad), and somehow lost it completely. At that point I realized that I finally could truly empathize with Alice when she wanted so badly to get into the beautiful garden, but was too big to do so.
And so for now, I expect to have my very own adventures in a virtual wonderland; do you think it includes a White Rabbit or, better yet, a Mock Turtle?