Saturday, July 17, 2010 Saturday, July 17, 2010

Above you'll see my new business cards, specially printed up for me by MOO cards. They exist in real life, but are for my virtual identity. Why, you ask, would one need real life business cards for an avatar? Because I intend on using them at the upcoming Second Life Community Convention, taking place this year in Boston from August 13-15th.

I've attended two previous conventions, 2008 in Tampa and 2009 in San Francisco. Both were tremendously awesome experiences, and I expect similar from this year's in Boston. Some might find the idea of meeting other avatars strange or even a bit creepy, but it is nothing like that at all. It's perhaps one of the deepest experiences an avatar can have.

SLCC is how you can become your avatar for a weekend.

That's right - everyone refers to each other by their avatar name, and real names are pretty much never heard. People act like their avatar, and sometimes they even dress like their avatar, even if it involves a tail or wings. People sit and chat, listen to music, have adventures - all just like you would in Second Life. But this time it's avatars doing such things in Real Life. The fidelity of the experience is far better, but the teleportation sucks.

If you're still doubting the value of attending, please read my account of Tampa in 2008 and San Francisco in 2009. Both events meant a great deal to me.

Back to the business cards. When I return home I usually have a small collection of fascinating business cards from avatars I knew from before or those I just met at the convention. I keep the cards in a small pile beside my computer, a tiny physical reminder that those pixelated avatars on my screen are in fact very real people.

I hope to see you there.

The Memorial

Saturday, July 10, 2010 Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tonight I visited Codebastard Redgrave's Linden Memorial, located in Bowness. This is a relocation of the original memorial she constructed at her own sim, Rouge. It's a brilliant idea that leverages the magic of Second Life into a very moving experience.

The layout is simple: gravestones on a hillside, each representing a recently-departed Linden. (No, they're not dead, they were simply let go from Linden Lab employment.) Nevertheless, I found myself strolling among the rather long rows of headstones, searching for people I know. Knew.

The feeling I had was eerily similar to similar real-life experiences in actual graveyards. Reading unfamiliar names; wondering why there are so many flowers on this stone, and none on another; unexpectedly finding someone's name whom you thought was still alive, er, employed. Just like RL.

The gravestones may be "paid" to produce a flower, and many indeed have flowers. There were many on the graves of Data, Jeska, Minerva, Matthew, Aimee, Babbage, Mia, Harmony, Tofu and my friend Joppa Linden (above), who I spent time with at SLCC. The most flowers by quite a margin were found on Blue and Teagan's headstones.

Interestingly, there were no flowers on T Linden's stone, and I could not locate a stone for M. Perhaps it just hasn't been done yet?

The property is group owned, and they would appreciate any donations you can provide, either through flower purchases or direct donations as indicated on their welcome board. Be sure to visit - and note the ominous "Unknown Linden" headstones at the back awaiting additional announcements.

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