I am a member of Second Life and work for the Second Life Newspaper. What this means is that I spend a great deal of time on my laptop In-World interviewing people, taking photos, and just doing what any normal reporter would do in the real world, the only difference is that I am doing this in a virtual world.
Sounds fun. Yes most of the time it is. So what’s your problem? I have caught myself offline talking as if I were my character. The digital world of Second Life has given me the chance to reach a few goals I would not have offline. The trouble with that is that now I am living what some might consider two lives. The creators of SL named it more then appropriately, cause you really do end up having a second life. The connections I have made In-World have become extremely valuable to me, but at what price? There are days when I have thought I would loose my mind because I had to report on an event In-World but because of login troubles couldn’t make it.
For anyone who is feeling lost, like they have no idea who they truly are, something like this might make them feel better, or it might make them feel worse. Depends on your take. There are times when I got to work out some issues I didn’t even know I had through the use of my character In-World. It has given me a chance to feel good about my looks simply because I refuse to tailor my character to look like everyone else. Most of the women In-World have the same long hair, the same tanned skin, and the same negative zero waist. I made my character look more like me, with pale skin, a few inches on the thighs and short hair. More and more of the places I go to on the internet I find myself bumping into character profiles for SL and not the real people behind them. It makes me ask when and where do we need to draw the line between who we are and who we invent?
I make no apologies for crossing my rl with my sl. I blog about my character’s life on my real life blog right beside my real life situations or reviews. I guess I am just trying to understand those who hide behind the image they create. But that type of issue spills out into everyday life too. How many people are walking the streets right now pretending to be something they are not? And who is it they are lying to the people around them or themselves?
So where do we draw the line between who we are and who we invent?