Archive for Zelda

How can I have a Second Life if I don’t have time for my first one?

Posted in Musings with tags , , , on October 29, 2008 by xxxicana

It is strange how life is full of coinkydinks. I just read Onion Tears’ blog about spending the weekend playing Zelda. I spent a better part of the weekend exploring Second Life. I made two avatars, here’s my main girl:

I was clued into Second Life by my mentor Mark, a world famous archaeologist and all around great informant regarding popular culture. He recommended a book recently published about SL and Identity. I’m putting off reading it until next year when I have more time. Anyway, I thought I would enter SL to check it out. When visiting Onion Tears a couple of years ago, I really got into EverQuest. I had a great looking avatar and had a lot of fun. After I returned to Lincoln, I decided not to play anymore since I get so sucked into the game (don’t even ask me about Tomb Raider). I loved “Zelda, Ocarina of Time” and “Marathon 2, Durandal,” and like Onion Tears, I will forget about RL for hours! So, I was a tad trepidatious once I stepped into Second Life that I might not leave for hours. Not to worry — YET. I spent a lot of time outfitting and wandering around. I had a couple of interesting encounters and like a good anthropologist spent some time eavesdropping in on other conversations. There was a group of people talking about the global economy – and this is how they sounded: waawaaawaawaawblahblahblahwaawaawaaa, heeheehee (woman with girly voice) waaaawaaawaawaawaa (guy pontificating on the market). BORING. Later someone admired my avatar — he looked like a normal guy. You know the type, jeans, t-shirt, average height, etc. After a bit of generic conversation he started to shape shift! It was very cool. His avatar has a randomizing effect that allows it to go from “normal” to quite fantastical.

As an experiment, I made a fat ugly stupid looking male avatar. I wanted to test if people would interact with me in the same manner as they did with my main avatar. I’d put up a photo, but I messed up his appearance and need to redo him. Anyway, the results were AMAZING! I was hanging out in an area with a lot of people just flitting by, posing, observing, and conversing. I was treated like crap! One character harassed my poor guy and no female avatars would speak to me! So, on the basis of very limited exposure to SL, I can say that it seems like people act pretty much the same in SL as in RL — maybe even worse. Great stuff for ethnographic research!

But, I’m not going to spend much time in SL. Unlike games, there’s no “point” — no quest, no fighting, no treasure to discover, etc. So, it isn’t really all that fun from a gaming sense. However, I might just keep dropping in now and then to study social interactions based on avatar appearance.