When you help newbies, you get a lot of different people who come to get help. The ones that make me laugh (and facepalm too) are those who ask us how to score points in Second Life. A LOT of people come in thinking it’s a “game” but… if I was to compare SL to any online experience, I would choose “chat rooms”. SL is in fact a chat room where you come to meet people and socialize… with perks…
Second Life is an interesting new experience but it’s the people who make or break it. SL is a world of discovery and a social hub. You get to interact with others in a life-like (1st life/real life) 3-D world that is almost exactly like the real world we all live in except that you can fly, breathe under water and you do not get hurt if you fall from very high. Simply said you can only die in SL if your account is deleted.
SL is a lot like RL (real world) in that there is a good side to it and a dark side to it. As your avatar is made of pixels, you really can’t get hurt….or can you…?
One would think of SL as a place you cannot get hurt but the truth is very different from that. In SL you CAN and WILL get hurt but not in a way you would expect. In SL it’s easy to lose the RL boundaries that protect our inner selves from heartache and the psychological effects SL has on us vary from subtle to obvious. Some people tend to get mentally and emotionally more involved than others and so the levels of hurt can vary tremendously. Many don’t care if they hurt others so in SL it’s good to be careful… it’s easy to fall in love and even in lust since all the avi’s (avatars) look so good (well okay most of them do… some still hang on to looking like newbies from 2006 but it’s good to update your avi once in a while at least).
A lot of people don’t mind playing with other people’s feelings and will do so to many people at once on various alts… putting a definite barrier of “these are just pixels” between them and the people on the other side of the screen… but many people remember that the avi’s you interact with are controlled by real people with real feelings and they are the ones most likely to get hurt, and much sooner.
essentially, SL is a lot like RL with nice people and not so nice people and people who should down-right be avoided. It’s always good to keep that in mind when on your journey through Second Life.