I've frequently written on the topic of reality, specifically those rare moments when your virtual life collides unexpectedly with your real life. Yes, those moments are rare and special. This weekend I expect to have many of them, because I'm heading to Tampa for the Second Life Community Convention.
It's the first such convention for me, although in the past I've attended many other conventions and conferences (and even presented at a few). As one typically does attending a conference, you must make arrangements such as hotel reservations, airline tickets, packing clothes, making plans, etc. But this experience was just a bit different than your average conference prep.
How was it different? Let me count the ways:
- Persona. Exactly who am I when I attend? Am I ArminasX, with his unique personality and habits (some bad), or am I me? I must decide, and quickly. Or perhaps I am both. Hmm.
- Attire. Again, whose style should I follow? Mine or the avatar's? Plurk friends suggest taking my in-world full-body red and black latex outfit, but somehow I am not certain that would be appropriate in the blistering Florida sunshine. If I had one, that is.
- Anonymity. In SL it is relatively easy to be anonymous, if only for a while. This could be a little different when faced with actual atomics within photon range. Do you give them a business card? What should be on the card? Are phone numbers appropriate? Should you not give anyone anything?
- Recognition. I had the startling revelation that I actually have no idea who anyone is or what they might look like. In other words, I could walk into a room and would recognize no one at all. There won't even be names and titles above their heads!
Somehow these issues will be resolved, one way or another. Stay tuned for an on-scene post, assuming the WiFi works.