Friday, January 2, 2009

Family Fun Night

Every now and then you gotta back up the kids in the car and take 'em out for a little family fun. Jake and I were joined by our dear Friends Ritch, Rocky and Theo at the SplitsvilleBowling Alley for some friendly competition and a whol lot of fun. Although Theo took of to find the nacho stand a little early and never returned... We were soon joined by Syri - another dear friend.

Good thing Syri showed up too… she had the good sense to go get pizza and beer at the snack bar. The frosty beverages definitely helped our game!

Although a few of the lanes were out of order, there were enough of them working for a really fantastic night out with close friends. If you are looking for a great night of family fun, I strongly recommend Bowling at Splitsville.

Splitsville can be found at:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year SL!

After making our appearances at our friends New Year's Eve Parties, Jake and I planned to sneak off and romantically ring in the New Year alone. But a last a last minute invitation to Join Brady and Troy at Bogart’s, quickly turned into a very special evening. We rang in the New Year dancing to classic standards in a beautifully done club… Jake loved it. It was RED! I am so happy to get to start off 2009 with this amazing man at my side.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hotceawshotlin, party of two

JakeC Hotshot is a very special man, and I wanted to do something extra special to commemorate his first Rez day. We enjoyed a private dinner for two in the sky over our sim followed by an amazing live vocal performance by the incredible ZDiva Sorbet. It was an amazing night and Jake is an amazing man.

Here are a few pictures from the evening I would love to share.

BTW - ZDiva is an amazing performer who can be heard live at Jade's Jazz Lounge

Monday, December 29, 2008

Do you feel someone has to be involved in second life to fully understand it?

(Question 10 of 10)

I would like to think that with enough explanation, someone could grasp what Second Life is all about, but generally I think someone has to experience it. It is difficult to communicate the immersive feel of the space verbally.

There is no real guarantee that second life will last forever. How would effect your second life relationships and what would you do?

(Question 9 of 10)

Well, I would like to think that if Second Life were to come to and end, there would be enough time to go through my contact list and figure out who I would like to stay in touch with. However, if Second Life were to abruptly end tomorrow, I am comforted in knowing that at the very least, I have the email addresses of my closest friends and would not lose contact with them. Maybe we would be able to continue meeting up in some other virtual world if not in real life.

Do you consider your second friends as real life friends? Do you allow them to become a part of your real life?

(Question 8 of 10)

The vast majority of my Second Life friends are mere acquaintances. I have several I consider to be good friends in Second Life and in time they may become real life friends as well. I only have a select few friends in Second Life that I consider to be real friends and I have no trouble exchanging personal information with them. A couple I have met in real life already and I think of them as friends regardless of which world we are meeting up in.

Has second life changed your real life relationships (for the better or worse)?

(Question 7 of 10)

Second Life has had in impact on my real life relationships in two ways. I would have to say that anonymity Second Life provides can foster an environment for self exploration and the opportunity for personal growth that isn’t as easily achieved in the real world. Also the environment of Second Life is based largely on communication be it typed or verbal. As such, I have found that I have become more in touch with who I am and better at expressing myself. This translates into better interaction in real world interpersonal relationships. But at the same time, I have found I tend favor the convenient and immersive interactions with friends in Second Life over telephone conversations or making the effort to go do something with Real Life friends. As a result, I have pulled away from some real life friends and am not as close to them as I once was.

How do you begin to trust people in second life when you're not meeting in real life (sometimes)? How does trust form and how far do you let it go?

(Question 6 of 10)

Interestingly, I find that first impressions go a long way even when interacting with a “cartoon character” in a virtual world. There are real people behind each avatar the same ingrained rules of social interaction we use in the real world apply here. It is amazing how often a first impression of someone in second life is right on and I have learned to go with my gut when I meet people. Trust is built in Second Life the same way it is in real life, through interaction over time. You would not need to know someone’s full name, address and phone number in real life to get a sense of what kind of person they are. Yes, in Second Life, it is possible for people to hide behind avatars and misrepresents themselves… but over time, the illusion of the avatar will get chipped away and there is someone real behind it or there isn’t. Once trust has formed, there is no end to how far I will allow a friendship to go… people I meet in Second Life have become very good friends in real life.

How much of your real life do reveal in second life?

(Question 5 of 10)

When I first joined Second Life, my intention was to reveal absolutely nothing abut myself at all. However, as I have spent time here, I learned that to get the most out of the experience, you have to be your self… you have to be real. There is no sense in spending time on empty personal interaction with people who you know nothing about and who know nothing about you. This said, it would be foolish to toss around sensitive personal information in Second Life just as it would be in real life. I openly publish my age and general geographic location. I am forthcoming with my industry profession and general information on my hobbies, sexuality, marital status, and my likes and dislikes. As friendships grow, and trust is established, I become more specific about aspects of my life but I tend to hold back on information that I would consider to be personally identifiable. With very close friends, I talk openly about my life and have shared, real life photos, phone numbers, addresses, and my real life name. I have even met a few friends in real life.

Is second life more than a game to you?

(Question 4 of 10)

Second Life is not a game at all… it is a new form of communication. It is part of the technological advances in communication from the telephone, telephone party lines, web bulletin boards, forums, instant messaging, video conferencing, webinars and other live streams. It has combined many elements of other communication technologies with the online multi player video game technology; however, unlike a video game, there is no objective set, no next level to get to. Because of that that, Second Life itself is not a game. I will note that there are games within the environment, from very simple diversions to some elaborate roll playing games, but these games are played within an environment that in itself is not a game.

What is your least favorite thing about second life?

(Question 3 of 10)

Second Life, particularly in its earlier years, was very much a society with a utopian feel and people tended to act as such. People went out of their way to be friendly and assist new residents and I believe they tended to tailor their behavior to what was beneficial for the society as a whole. Although these attitudes still exist in some form, they have slowly been eroded and replaced by more self serving attitudes. Similarly to how the experience would be different from living in a small rural town to living in a large urban city. I find that people not longer go out of their way to talk to strangers in the street or even say “Hi” as they once did. There is an increasing level of distrust of new residents as individual employ alternate accounts (alts) for underhanded purposes, often for things that are against the Terms of Service or Community Standards but harder to identify or trace with alt avatars.

What do you enjoy the most about second life?

(Question 2 of 10)

There are three distinct aspects about Second Live that I like very much. First and foremost are the people. I find it amazing if not outright addicting to be able to turn on my computer and have a group of people that I feel deeply about and have a genuine need to interact with. When I am not online, I wonder what they are up to, and I can’t wait to get online and share what I am doing with them or just hang out and enjoy their company. The second aspect of Second Life that I enjoy is the creativity. The culture of Second Life is one that values creativity and I have found that I experience a tremendous amount of pleasure expressing my creativity in this environment. The third aspect of second life that I enjoy is what brought me here in the first place... the business. Not only do I like seeing in world merchants do a great job of marketing themselves, I really get excited to see real world businesses using Second Life. What I have found is that the there are two very distinct aspects of Second Life, what I will call the social side of second life where residents actually “live” in this virtual space, and the business side where companies use this technology for real world applications (be it meeting space, virtual demonstrations, modeling and testing of products, etc.) This business side can be hard to see if you are living in the social arena of Second Life, but it makes up a vast part of the actual Second Life landscape and is exciting to me when I come across it.

What made you decide to start second life?

(Question 1 fo 10)

I read an article about it a Southwest Airlines in flight magazine which talked about the fact that businesses were starting to look at Second Life as a way to market themselves. I viewed what I was reading as a sort of new media that I wanted to be familiar with, so I created an account and began wandering SL to try to learn everything I could about it. When I first arrived, I tried to remain anonymous and jsut observe. I didn’t want to join groups or talk to people. One thing I learned very quickly is that Second Life is a social environment and I was not able to simply observe. Most communication in Second Life is based on social networks, I had to begin meeting people and joining groups to find out information on what was happening in world.

Second Life Interview

A good friend was writing an article about friendships and relationships in Second Life and asked to interview me for his story. I found his questions to be thought provoking and have decided to post my answers here. I will post each of the ten questions as a separate post with my answer and the opportunity for comments. I encourage you to comment with you your own answers.