March 16, 2007

Second Life?

I used to despise the word “blogging.” I suppose one tiny particle in my brain still winces at the word (I’ve been known to avoid “fads” or anything with a lot of hype, like Harry Potter… don’t ask), but I’ve succumbed to doing it, anyway. Let’s face it, it’s the writer in me, and it allows me to write plotless things because I’m not good at plot.

So right now I’m not enjoying the phrase “Second Life.” Be it a craze, something I roll my eyes at, or something I’m maybe afraid of, it’s got that edge that just irks me. I’d compare it to MySpace or YouTube, although I signed up for MySpace just over a year ago. It brought me something wonderful that changed my life (call it luck or fate), which I won’t discuss here, but I’ve sort of dropped off the face of the MySpace non-planet since — I do have a first life, and it’s called SCHOOL.

I’m taking a social sciences/studies course about blogging, confession, user-generated content and YouTube. Our discussions cover a wide variety of interesting things, and it seems we tend to agree. Then again, we’re all around the same age, we go to a smallish school with a specific range of creative types, and we all live in Vancouver. Not everyone is from Vancouver, or even Canada for that matter, but somehow our ideas seem to fit. Either that, or the people who disagree aren’t speaking up.

Anyway, I’ve just read a few articles pertaining to Second Life and viewed a video (on YouTube). It occurred to me that Second Life to me is like alcohol: I’m mostly against it, I don’t drink it, I’ve been curious about trying it but won’t because I don’t want to enjoy it since I don’t agree with it, but I let my friends participate in it. That said, you won’t ever find an avatar of Erika roaming around in Second Life. Also, the only reason I recently (and reluctantly) registered on YouTube was to contact a person for research purposes, for the class mentioned above. It also took four tries, after it told me I need a certain number of characters for my password or something like that, but didn’t bother to tell me before I put in all my info only to watch it disappear on the page reload, and then told me that my username was taken. I even searched it. No it’s not, you liars! Who comes up with a name like _________ but me?

Ahem, anyhoo. I spend a lot of time enjoying the rewards of real life. If it’s not real life, it’s either fake life, or a dream. You could suggest, “It could be an alternate reality,” as quantum theorists might suggest, but I’m a tad skeptical about anything beyond this carbon-based world we live in. I won’t get into the philosophy of existence because it used to keep me up at night.

As for people making $100,000 on selling virtual land, goods, and services… that makes even less sense to me than people selling animals.

Now on a good note, one of my favourite bloggers, though he’s not just a blogger, of course, Darren Barefoot put up Get a First Life, which is just the awesomest, quirkiest spoof I have ever seen, and kept me laughing for a good while.

“Why can’t I build a dirigible with my mind?”

Oh, Darren!