Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Dirty, Little Secret of Second Life

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out. 

Alfred Hitchcock

          OK, if you’ve read this far, you’re probably curious about what I’m referring to.  You may also be aware that I’ve written about sex, BDSM, nudity, trust, friendship, and loss in Second Life (SL).  So, you may be wondering what salacious material I’m about to spill. 
          Well, here it is.  You decide if it’s salacious enough.  Here goes. 
          The dirty, little secret of SL is drama.  Yes, drama. 
          Now, everyone may be wondering how I came to this conclusion.  It’s simple.  As I’ve been wondering across the Grid for almost two years now, I’ve been meeting many residents and visiting locations.  Many residents in their profiles indicate “No drama” as a consideration for getting together.  I’ve also seen sims and groups stating that drama is not permitted.
          So, what is drama inworld?  I have to admit I haven’t seen much myself but then I’ve  never met Abraham Lincoln  either but I’ve read more than a few books about him and I kinda sure he existed. 
          From what I’ve seen drama is about people acting out and torturing one another.  Sounds a lot like Real Life (RL) doesn’t it?  Something tells me this isn’t unique to SL. 
          Who’s involved?  From my unscientific survey it appears that almost anyone can be involved.  (I hope you didn’t think I was going to single out one particular group now, did you?  How dumb do I look?  Wait, don’t answer that!) 
          I have found accusations of drama in the fashion world, role playing, and vampire families to name but a few.  Some might argue that griefing  might be a form of drama.  So let’s say that pretty much anyone inworld can be a candidate for drama.  (Look the entire US Federal government might be accused of too much drama these days.) 
          Now let’s talk about this for a bit. 
          Is drama good or bad for SL?
          An argument could be made that drama inworld is healthy and normal.  Suspense is built around our activities and makes us want to come back to see what happens next.  Is this any different than an interactive form of RL reality TV? 
          Contrary arguments could be made that drama in SL is not healthy and we already have too much in RL.  The arguments could continue that the behaviors are meaningless and add no value to the SL experience.  Could these behaviors even drive people away and potentially hurt them. 
          Finally, does this even matter?  After all, it’s only a game some may argue.  There is also an argument that there are real people with real feelings behind all those avatars. Maybe it’s for the residents to decide.  After all, SL is a community. People vote with their feet.  If they don’t like a sim or a group of people, they’ll go elsewhere.  (Unless they’re masochists but that’s another story.) 
          For me, I always support healthy interaction among residents.  There are real people behind our avatars and we have to remember.  Maybe in role play where there are rules and expectations, drama can be expected.  Otherwise, in RL, I personally avoid poor behavior.  I would do the same in SL if I encountered it. 
          What do you think?  Please send your comments.  I’d love to hear them. 
As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.


Anonymous said...

Drama in SL? I've seen plenty, and not just the occasional griefers. Three weeks into my avatar's life I met a man. We clicked immediately. Adored each other. Then the drama started. He was a womaniser. I hated it. He refused to be "caged", I hated what I saw as him cheating on me. To be fair, he wan't cheating, he was totally honest about it. We fought like cat and dog. Had breakups and make ups galore. But guess what. Six years on we're still together, and just before Christmas he made me his SL partner. Is that drama or what?

webspelunker said...


Many thanks for sharing your story!

I wish you and your partner much happiness together in SL!

Please let me know if both or either of you would like to meet for an interview.

Happy New Year!



Anonymous said...

I wont co-operate w someone who wants to start drama with me in SL. I have ended partnerships, relationships because of drama, usually in the form of jealousy, control issues, lies. The biggest drama was a relationship w a "man in his late 20s..." who turned out to be a 19 yr old girl! And guess what, she cant believe I broke up w her! Actually, gender wasnt the issue-it was all her LIES!

Shadowz Greymoon said...

Drama is just a part of life. you either deal with it, or you try your best to ignore it. Either way, you can't fully get away from drama, if you did that, you wouldn't have emotions. For me it depends on the drama that I want to be involved in, not dragged into. So yeah, Drama is and can be good, and is and can be bad too. Just shrug your shoulders, so F*ck it, and move on. That's what I do.

Han Held said...

Drama is an empty catch-phrase at this point. It means so many things it literally means nothing anymore.

When people say there's drama in a platform, they mean conflict, they mean emotional attachment. They mean that people care enough to stand up for something. Looked at that way, without drama there would be interest; it would just be a dull and sterile enviroment.

You can't have emotional attachment without eventually running into some sort of conflict -some sort of "drama". So in that sense, "drama" is a necessary part of any community -because without it, who cares?

Thanks for a thought-provoking article!