Our task (should we choose to accept it!) was to venture out in SL and talk to people who were relevant to our interests. (though, I would have worded it, ‘people with the same interests as me!‘)
My first attempt was the Vordum Museum. There was no one there. The next was the Marianne Museum (it’s close to my real name). Again, no one. I went to the main page of SL and saw ‘Women in Science’ museum. That seemed wonderful! I visited, and it seemed so glitchy. (it asked us to hit the star on the table, but this did nothing and kept repeating to hit the star.)
I saw the curator in the front, but he said he was ‘away’ and to not disturb. I really wanted to see why they chose who they did, and why they started it all—but even though I returned here later, nothing had changed.
I eventually found the ‘Visions of Beauty and Art’ museum, which was full of people on the top floor. I admired all the art getting up there, and was pleasantly surprised by the stained glass art done by Merri Hawksend. It was really beautiful—there was a transparency about it that could really be appreciated in the fact that the pieces were on the ‘roof’ of the building. I engaged Merri with small talk, and told her how much I loved the pieces (and the framing techniques, you know, art stuff!) She told me she had just finished the dragon one that morning. I took a screen shot via my PC, as I hadn’t learned how to make a quiet snapshot in the game. (I eventually did figure it out!) I asked how long the gallery had been opened for and another person (DJ magic) said it had been opened a while, but lately became more popular. It was nice small talk, but nothing substantial, which was probably due to the amount of people there and the fact that in the end, they are selling their work and IRL, if you aren’t buying you are wasting time for the artists. However, I found them all to be really nice and we did have art in common!
I visited a few more places, a pub, a diner—but everything was empty. I eventually chose to go to an Irish pub—and I am so happy I did!
They automatically made me a part of their group (and my name changed above my head!) And again, small talk occurred! I was worried that this was the only type of conversation I could have in SL. But then, I saw someone who had a screen name including Sailor Moon! I love Sailor Moon—it’s the reason I got into drawing. I waited for her to return (she was away) and started to chat. She was so nice, and we just chit chatted about traveling, Second Life, Sailor Moon—just everything. She was really nice to chat to, and added me as a friend! She also sent me some landmarks to visit—I hope to when I return to the game! It was getting late and college is tomorrow, so I needed sleep.
In the end, it reflected the scenarios of everyday life. To me, it’s easier to see the common threads rather then just the differences. IRL, you’d see a badge/pin of a band you like on someone else’s bag. It’s a talking point to go and approach them, and maybe in a few years, you will both be best friends and reminiscing about how that pin brought you both together! Online, it’s very similar–usernames, profiles, appearances—they all show the world the things you like and people can approach you. On AOL many moons ago, you used to fill out information about yourself, such as location, birthdate, hobbies. The end thing was your ‘personal quote’. Many would use this as a way of advertising their favourite film, or anime. It was a talking point. Again, I see the similarities much stronger then the differences here, and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.