Saturday, July 20, 2013

Time in Second Life

 Time is an illusion.

Albert Einstein

          Today I missed an interview in Second Life (SL) with an artist whose work I’d encountered on display at Naked.  The reason for this miss was because I messed up calculating the time difference between where I live on the East Coast of the United States in Real Life (RL) and where my interviewee lives in Madagascar. 
          (Now, don’t worry, there’s a great story here with this artist, Mi, and as soon as I figure out what to do, you’ll have this story about this woman and her extraordinary work on view at Naked.)
          This all got me thinking about the concept of time inworld.  (Don’t worry, I’m not about to develop a theory of relativity for SL.)  I’m not talking about the present not the past like the Regency Era or 1920’s Berlin.  How do we track time inworld and how does it relate to RL?  (I’ll bet you don’t get these heavy philosophical discussions in those other SL blogs that you read.) 
          For me, there are three types of time inworld.  First, there is Second Life Time (SLT) which, since Linden Lab is based in San Francisco, California, is measured in Pacific Standard Time (PST).  (To my British and Commonwealth friends, to forestall your queries, I have no idea why they don’t use Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).)  
          Then there’s my time, Eastern Standard Time (EST) here on the East Coast. 
          Finally, there’s everyone else’s time.  You may ask why is this an issue to me and is this just another example of me having too much time on my hands?  Well, I’m a writer and I meet people.  So, being able to figure time out is important to me.  (Significant Other feels I have a problem with just one time zone, let alone multiples.) 
          So, which time do we use?  Our own, whatever that may be.  SLT?  Or, someone else’s time zone? 
          Upon first arriving inworld, I learned about SLT and thought it was a great idea.  A standard time that we could all use.  (I love standards.)  Well, most folks I’ve encountered inworld aren’t too such what SLT is.  Or, if they have heard of it, they don’t know how to relate it to their own time zone.  This inevitably leads me to attempting to figure it out then compare it to where I am, well, you get the picture.  Something drops somewhere and I miss an appointment.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.) 
Which leads me to another question.  (Notice how subtly I did that?)  Have those of us who are inworld regularly reconciled inworld time with RL time?  While I haven’t gotten it perfected yet, I find myself thinking in terms of multiple time zones.  (Having a RL job which involves phone calls at all hours of the day or night doesn’t help.) 
I find that I get the outliers wrong like Madagascar, Australia, or New Zealand.  (Sorry guys!)  I won’t go into what happens when we allow for Daylight Savings Time twice a year in this country. 
           So, to wrap my verbal meanderings up, I want to apologize to those whom I missed interviews with.  (Even those of you who weren’t there anyway for your own scheduling issues.) 
          I’ll continue to struggle along and sort out my scheduling issues and stop being a menace to my fellow residents. 
          And , I promise to get that interview with Mi out very soon! 
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld 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. 




Hanamachi Hikaru said...

I have a clock to set to slt next to my computer. Without that I alway forget when I am supposed to be at practices :)

webspelunker said...

Thanks for the idea!

I sometimes have problems with SLT too!



Roblem said...

I'm east coast myself (EST). Whenever I do anything in SL I stress the fact that I am always talking about SLT. After doing SL for so long I just get used to it. SL uses California local time because that's where the lab is located and it's just convenient for them. I don't know how it would help if they switched to GMT, as long as we are all talking the same time in world, that's all that matters.