Saturday, December 28, 2013

Looking Back on 2013 in Second Life

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.

T. S. Eliot

          Sitting at my keyboard in Real Life (RL), the realization is dawning on me that another year is passing away.  As is my want, I take this time of the year to become a little nostalgic and reminisce a bit about my misadventures in Second Life (SL).  (Be warned, many of already know what I’m like when I get like this!)
          I like to think back about where I’ve been, who I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve had.  How did I do against where I wanted to go this year?  (Not great, but I have my excuses ready.) 
          Most importantly of all, was it a good year?
          Looking back, I did go to new places and met new people.  I visited several art galleries inworld and met the artists and curators behind them.  I’ve learned that there is a thriving art world in SL and many creative people are at work here rivalling their RL counterparts. 
          I participated in various RL holidays and festivals like the Chinese Lunar New Year, St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo inworld both thanks to my good friend Perryn Peterson.  (Who by the way was also my subject for this year’s One of the Most Interesting Second Life Residents I’ve Met story.) 
          I got serious too.  I looked into social issues like bullying inworld.  Being always fascinated by where RL ends and SL begins, I blogged about identity, trust and loss in SL.  (Speaking of which, Significant Other always worries I’m going to invite everyone I’ve met over for dinner someday unannounced.)  Bitcoin was addressed and I’m still waiting to see how digital currencies such as this work with virtual worlds.  I also touched on the dirty, little secret of SL.
          New worlds beckoned and I spent time among the Goreans, an interesting community whom I need to return to.  Very different, but nonetheless interesting, was the Regency Era sim that I dropped into and which I recommend to all Jane Austen fans. 
          My travels among the nude continued with first time visits to Naked and Utopia Naked Isle Resort.  Friendly people and great facilities make these must visits for the aspiring nudist inworld.  I’ve made several good friends at both sims. 
          2013 was a year of new experiences for me in SL too.  With my good friend, Lisah Lorefield, I attended her Tarot card reading.  Thanks to Starla Farella, I had a makeover inworld and feel more like a real avi now.  Starla is a genius when it comes to creating a more lifelike avatar and I refer all to her who are looking to look more like a real person inworld.  Of course, I had another laptop crash this year which caused me to ponder how we can exist with SL when we can’t access it directly.  (OK, maybe Significant Other is right, and I do have too much time on my hands.) 
          But, let me honest and talk a bit about things that I didn’t get around to.  Like my two series, Sex and the Single Avatar in Second Life and The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in Second Life, I’ve been remiss there and I will return to them in the New Year.  I also never started the series entitled Shoemaker’s Children where I’d blog about Linden Lab and its disappointments.  Or, failing to follow up on other promising stories I’d written.
          I’ll spare you my excuses (Significant Other has already heard them and is unimpressed.) but I’ll return to all these (the stories not the excuses) in the New Year. 
          What are my observations about SL overall this year? 
          I still find the sense of community to be very strong.  Creativity in builds and artwork is as high as ever if not higher than before.  Yet, I worry about the loss of people and once popular sims.  Some that I’ve visited in prior years are no longer with us.  Some friends are no longer around and they are missed.  I can only hope that they are happy in their RL’s and responsibilities there have kept them away.  (And, not as Significant Other has suggested, they’re trying to avoid me.) 
          My readership is up and I thank all of you!  Please keep reading and feel free to continue to distribute links to my blog and stories! 
          What do we have to look forward to in 2014?
          I will continue the series I’ve already started and mentioned above.  I’ll go back for more stories on Gor and erotic art inworld.   
          RL activities on my part will help me in overhauling my blog layout and increase the use of social media. 
          There will be more involvement in community activities like the 1920’s Berlin Book Club.  I’ll also go deeper in my stories and try to be less superficial as I sometimes am. 
          Finally, I’ll work to be a better friend inworld.  As a wanderer in SL, I realize I’m very bad at staying in touch and following up.  I can blame the call of the open road inworld and RL responsibilities but those are only excuses. Expect to see and hear more from me in the New Year.  (Including that long overdue game of Greedy, Greedy that I owe to two friends!) 
          So, let’s go back to my earlier question, was it a good year?
          Without any qualifications on my part, yes, it was.  I stayed in touch with some old friends, met new ones, and had new experiences.   I found all the reasons why I came inworld in the first place to be still valid.  I think I discovered a few new reasons to boot.  I continue to enjoy being inworld and blogging about it.
          Yes, it was a good year inworld, a very good year!
          Before I go any further, I’d like to thank Significant Other who continues to support my inworld activities and blogging while still marveling that I haven’t been thrown out yet.
          To my many SL friends, it would be hard to thank all of you individually but I would like to thank Perryn Peterson for all his magnificent events and always allowing me the scoop on them.  I’d like to thank my Research Assistant, Tera Trenchcoat, for volunteering to help me in my travels despite the hardships of putting up with me and some of my well-intentioned but misguided brilliant ideas.  Thanks to both of you and everyone else! 
Happy New Year!
I’ll see all of you in 2014! 
My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.
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
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