Saturday, October 11, 2014

Art Imitates Art in Second Life


Not all those who wander are lost.

J.R.R. Tolkien



          Recently, I was having a conversation via Skype with a good friend of mine from Second Life (SL), Augusta von Nassau. 
Speaking with Augusta von Nassau in 1920's Berlin.

          We were Skyping because I’m no longer welcome on Facebook. 

          I gave vent to my frustration, and that of other Facebook refugees, with Augusta (Significant Other is happy that someone else gets to listen to me for a change.) about having to use multiple social media applications and not being able to have the experience that I had had with Facebook.

Augusta, in her infinite wisdom and patient manner, suggested that I write about my experience.  (I suspect that this also got me off her hands.) 

          She was right!

          I had my epiphany and am now blogging about my feelings.  (Please don’t blame Augusta for this story.  This is all me.  Significant Other bolts for the next room.)

          Here’s where I’m coming from.

          Inworld, I’m normally who I am.  An explorer and writer who wanders across the Grid blogging about his various misadventures.

          I don’t have a role playing backstory for my avi with one exception.

Working Class District in 1920's Berlin.
When I visit 1920’s Berlin, I have a backstory.  And, of course, being me, it can’t be simple.  (What fun would that be?)

          In 1920’s Berlin, I play a political exile from the Bolshevik Revolution.  I’m a Menshevik who’s on the run from the CHEKA.  Once, I was on friendly terms with Ilyich but political disagreements and a few too many chess games won by me sent me to the West.

          I have no home and wander about living on the streets testing the good nature of my friends with my continually quoting Marx.  A certain young librarian allows me to hang out in her library as long as I quit whistling The Internationale.  (She’s also promised to add a section for the collected works of Marx for services rendered on my part.  I think I’ll wait until the spring before I start reminding her.  1920’s Berlin is a hard city to be homeless in when Frau Jo turns on the snow.) 

Why this character and not some comfortable bourgeois character?

That wouldn’t be me.

The wandering writer is more my style.  (Significant Other’s, who has now returned, eyes roll.)

It was a part.  A role.  I didn’t give it any thought.  (Significant Other asks, “What’s new there?”)

Then I left Facebook.  (Or, not to put too fine a point on it, Facebook left me.)

Here’s where I began to complain to Augusta.

Whereas with Facebook, I had one tool which connected to a large group of friends, let me know who was on, and permitted me to chat with them easily. 

Now, I have multiple applications each with its own subset of my friends. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve met some great new people and a few old friends have followed me into exile.  But, everyone is scattered.

On the Avatar Social Network, I’ve made new friends but still only part of what I once
had access to.  Google+ has great functionality but I still don’t know who’s on.

I Skype with Augusta and go somewhere else to chat with others.

I’ve begun to experiment with Ello. 

Facebook friends reach out to me and ask me where I’ve gone to.  They commiserate but can’t leave Facebook because of their own social investment there.  They’re also reluctant to load up on additional social media applications.

I feel like my role playing avatar. 

I wander aimlessly looking for friends.  Never knowing where I’ll be or whom I’ll end up with.

Is this what it’s like for the homeless in Real Life (RL)?

Has the vagaries of a tool like Facebook shown me what some people experience in RL at least on a social level?

Please don’t get me wrong and don’t feel sorry for me.

That’s not what I’m writing this piece.    

          I have family and friends in RL.  (Significant Other gives a warm hug right now.)

I have a roof over my head.

Yet, somehow, this virtual world has made me think about others who don’t have it as fortunate as me. 

My inworld wanderings have also made me suspicious for some time that there are some in SL who may be comfortable in RL but are among us because they are looking for something on a social level.

I just wanted to get these thoughts off my chest and share them with my readers.

Has anyone else experienced this?

Eventually, I’ll sort this out.

Thanks to the efforts of the LGBT community, maybe someday folks like me could return to Facebook.

Let’s see what happens!

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.         

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

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.

          Open roads and kind fires!


Anonymous said...

~comforting hugs! ~from Starla

webspelunker said...


Many thanks!

Hugs back!

Hope all's well!



Jan Croon said...

Excellent post, Webchen! I've often thought that our SL selves are extensions of our RL selves in one way or another.

webspelunker said...


Many thanks for reading and commenting!

Not to mention giving me the idea for the story! ;)