Monday, April 21, 2008

My Second LIfe Experiences

As of right now my Second Life experience has been interesting. At first, I had trouble navigating on Orientation Island because I have never played a game like this. It was difficult for me to get use to the controls and the interface was a bit complicated. When I finally got accustomed to the controls I was able to walk around and learn from the tutorials. I learned how to teleport to other Islands, bring up my inventory screen and so on.

This past Tuesday's walk through of Second Life helped a lot as well. I learned how to interact with objects, how to fly and how to interact with other people. It was also the first time I was at a place besides Orientation Island. The first place that I went to was Santa Clara Island. I was able to explore the church, the museum and the new library. I have yet to go to the new library in real life so it was a good way for me to see the general layout of the place. It was cool to interact with objects inside of the library such as the computers because you can actually see what is on the screen and it could even transfer you to the Santa Clara website. I also went into a room that had a projector where I watched a short clip. This was pretty amazing because you can watch any clip through this video game.

After exploring Santa Clara Island for a few minutes I decided to go to an island to get free stuff. I got some free clothes and decided to change my outfit to an orange aloha shirt. I then found a box that was labeled, "weapons" and decided to get all the free weapons I could. Among the things that I go was a minigun, light saber and a watermelon launcher. I tried to use most of them but found that the watermelon launcher was by far the funnest. For the next couple minutes I went around the island shooting random people which then started some conversations. A few people told me to stop shooting them, but most people found it to be quite funny.

The next thing that I decided to do was change my appearance. I looked like any other guy in the game but I chose to completely change my appearance. I made my character a 3 foot mutant that looked like Sloth from the Goonies. I also decided to make my character pink. Now I have an avatar that is a 3 foot mutant shooting a watermelon gun at random people. Even more people started talking to me and asked why I decided to make my character so ugly. An avatar by the first name Lucy came up to me and told me that Second Life was no joke and that I should take it seriously. I could not help but laugh, in real life, at how seriously people took this game. I thought to myself, "How funny would it be if I followed this person around Second Life and kept shooting her with watermelons?" In the end, I made the right decision by only shooting her with a few more watermelons before logging off.

The next time I signed on to Second Life, I chose to go to a popular place called Dance Island. I decided to just walk around an check out the place. A few people came up to me and told me how ugly my avatar was. All I did was just laugh. I had a very unique conversation with another character. At first it was casual. Then this girl asked me for my MySpace, which I don't have. I found this to be quite interesting because I had a feeling that this girl was a guy in real life just by the way the conversation had been going. I continued to play along and chat with him/her. Then the conversation ended when I started to get a little creeped out.

I decided to teleport to another island called Sweetheart Lounge. On this island, characters were very well dressed in tuxes and nice dresses. I was really out of place with my pink skin and my orange aloha shirt but that didn't really affect me. There was this woman sitting on a bench so I decided to sit next to her. After about 10 seconds this other woman just hovered around us. The woman on the bench started to flirt with me. At this point I had no idea what I was thinking. I guess I just felt awkward. After about 3 minutes of talking, the woman standing up asked me to get off the bench so she could sit down. At first I refused to get up and started talking jibberish when she instant message me. She then payed me 150 Second Life credits to get up and once again I refused. Then she told me that she would get into trouble if I didn't get up. I was really confused and decided to finally get up. I then proceeded to the dance floor where I found a woman slow dancing by herself. I decided to dance with her. This made me feel really awkward. I don't know if its the idea that a 3 foot pink smurf dancing with a woman was awkward or the fact that I was sitting at home watching my made up character dance with another made up character was awkward. Either way I felt a little uncomfortable watching animations of my avatar dancing while it was a sunny day outside and I could be doing something in the sun. At this point I decided to go outside and do something with real people.

I feel that Second Life has both positive and negative aspects. It was great way to meet new people while online. However, there can be some really awkward situations. I would prefer to meet new people in real life. I also cannot see myself sitting behind a computer for several hours as other avatars have done whom I met online do.

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