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How has your Second Life avatar impacted your life?


Xiola Linden
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Recently an article on the Wall Street Journal online - titled Practice Personalities: What an Avatar Can Teach You - talked about how our avatars can teach us about ourselves. We asked others how their Second Life avatars had impacted them and got some amazing stories in the comments on our Official Facebook page.

There are some truly amazing and inspirational stories that were shared and I wanted to ask the same question here on the forums. How has your Second Life avatar impacted your life?

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I must say, reading through this story, I've always been affected by my avatar(s) in that sort of way as well. I'm a bit of an obsessive collector, so perhaps that says something about my eagerness to collect different viewpoints and experiences out of a drive to understand others better.

More recently however, as in i the past couple of years, I've taken to using lots of smaller, cuter avatars instead of average-sized or overly imposing ones. I find it easier to remain off-the-radar when I need time to myself, the only people who approach me without knowing me being those who are drawn to such adorable creatures. At the same time, it allows my strong personality some more room to push, my appearance not adding onto it to overwhelm another when I do decide to interact. What's more, dressing in a small suit or similar has made me want to approach things from a more gentlemanly angle instead of speaking before I think. It's all been a wonderful exercise for my mind in being a more agreeable person.

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It's impacted me quite a lot, as I've made some friends here that after almost 9 years of being on SL I still talk to, but the major thing is that I've met my RL BF on here, we met up in RL and moved into together in the last few months so all very exciting!! I don't think our paths would have met in RL as we have totally different jobs and lived in totally different area within the UK so thank you SL!!!

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Meg Howe wrote:

 

It's impacted me quite a lot, as I've made some friends here that after almost 9 years of being on SL I still talk to, but the major thing is that I've met my RL BF on here, we met up in RL and moved into together in the last few months so all very exciting!! I don't think our paths would have met in RL as we have totally different jobs and lived in totally different area within the UK so thank you SL!!!

Congratulations to your both! Here's to an amazing continued future together!

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BillyBob Snowpaw wrote:

I must say, reading through this story, I've always been affected by my avatar(s) in that sort of way as well. I'm a bit of an obsessive collector, so perhaps that says something about my eagerness to collect different viewpoints and experiences out of a drive to understand others better.

More recently however, as in i the past couple of years, I've taken to using lots of smaller, cuter avatars instead of average-sized or overly imposing ones. I find it easier to remain off-the-radar when I need time to myself, the only people who approach me without knowing me being those who are drawn to such adorable creatures. At the same time, it allows my strong personality some more room to push, my appearance not adding onto it to overwhelm another when I do decide to interact. What's more, dressing in a small suit or similar has made me want to approach things from a more gentlemanly angle instead of speaking before I think. It's all been a wonderful exercise for my mind in being a more agreeable person.

That's very interesting, BillyBob! Kudos to you for having such a self-awareness and being open to new experiences.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

Who can't stand criticism then? Some people need to face up and stop trying to hide their mistakes.

Well Phil. I know we are 'threadjacking' here but I can see them asking on Facebork first.  People there would be more likely to talk about their RL's.  And due to the early mismanagement of this Forum it still has a reputation for not being a friendly place to post.

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Xiola Linden wrote: How has your Second Life avatar impacted your life?

Not at all. It's a cartoon. Homer Simpson has had more impact.

But then, his lines are written by a couple of dozen Harvard grads, which is a couple of dozen more than frequent these forums.

PS "An avatar wearing shorts, however, led people to assume that its maker was an outgoing person." RISIBLE!

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My SL avatar has impacted my RL to some degree. Well...I liked my avatar's dancing so much I tried it out in RL. :smileyhappy:

But also I am kind of new (joined 6/14) and the biggest impact is that I bring back some SL memories with me to RL. My avatar has gone places I never would have been able to go and some of them are fantastical places or amazing creations and I don't forget them. 

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

Who can't stand criticism then? Some people need to face up and stop trying to hide their mistakes.

Well Phil. I know we are 'threadjacking' here but I can see them asking on Facebork first.  People there would be more likely to talk about their RL's.  And due to the early mismanagement of this Forum it still has a reputation for not being a friendly place to post.

I'm happy to threadjack this one :)

You may be right, Perrie, but it would still be inexcusable if they did because they thought that way. But I very much doubt that that was their thinking. I fully believe that they went to FB first because that's what they do at LL - ignore the user community and look elsewhere.

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Phil Deakins wrote:

I'm happy to threadjack this one
:)

You may be right, Perrie, but it would still be inexcusable if they did because they thought that way. But I very much doubt that that was their thinking. I fully believe that they went to FB first because that's what they do at LL - ignore the user community and look elsewhere.

Considering the article on the secondlife facebook page got 73 comments, and here the volume of contributors is much lower, it would seem they know very well how to best target their community.

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As to how secondlife has affected me. Well it is a big question and I am not really sure how to go about answering that, some answers are really a little too personal to want to share publically in a forum like this, but my life is definitely richer in many ways. Not least a more global and less insular perspective you get from having friends in all the major continents of the world, with very different upbringings, lifestyles and environments. Also the knowledge from those experiences that we have so much in common, focussing on differences to distinguish ourselves is part of human nature... but we shouldn't lose focus on just how much we also have in common.

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Definitely!

When I first joined SL, was happy to simply sit back, relax, and cruise the rest of my life single. I joined SL simply to RP, and wanted nothing to cross over to RL

Little did I know just how bonding RP’ing can be

3yrs later, I’m involved with my BDSM RL local groups, met two lovely subs via SL in RL…and now have one living with me. I sure as hell wouldn’t have wouldn’t done any of that without SL.

I have no time to do what I had before in SL. I do miss it. I sometimes wonder if I knew what was in store, I may have not clicked ‘download’….and gone for something less social on the computer for entertainment.

Nearly quit on the first week too for it being frustrating…but did my time on tiger island to learn about it.

You make plans…but rather life getting in the way, it was SL for me

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Aethelwine wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

I'm happy to threadjack this one
:)

You may be right, Perrie, but it would still be inexcusable if they did because they thought that way. But I very much doubt that that was their thinking. I fully believe that they went to FB first because that's what they do at LL - ignore the user community and look elsewhere.

Considering the article on the secondlife facebook page got 73 comments, and here the volume of contributors is much lower, it would seem they know very well how to best target their community.

If you don't give a *** about your forum for ages, hire a bunch of monkeys to take care of it and then come around with a post you obvioulsy rather promote on other third party platfroms and delete multiple posts you don't like at the same time....well don't expect people to suddenly reply like there is no tomorrow.

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Aethelwine wrote:

As to how secondlife has affected me. Well it is a big question

Unfortunately, it is not the question which was asked in the original article, and which has not been asked by the OP.

The question is how (the appearance of) your AVATAR has impacted your life.

Which is a pretty stupid question when you think about it for more than five seconds,

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Aethelwine wrote:


Phil Deakins wrote:

I'm happy to threadjack this one
:)

You may be right, Perrie, but it would still be inexcusable if they did because they thought that way. But I very much doubt that that was their thinking. I fully believe that they went to FB first because that's what they do at LL - ignore the user community and look elsewhere.

Considering the article on the secondlife facebook page got 73 comments, and here the volume of contributors is much lower, it would seem they know very well how to best target their community.

Maybe so, but I wonder why that is. Could it be because they've been going elsewhere to contact the SL cummunity for years, so elsehwere is where the community knows they can contact them? Or could it be because, on the whole, the community here is so cheesed off with LL's external contact practises that they (we) choose not to do as they ask? Or both?

There is no excuse for ignoring their own SL community here, and there is a very good reason why the SL community here ignores them. They don't deserve a mass response from here.

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Not sure how to accurately answer that. Let me start with "I began using SL because I had to". If not for a very patient friend I would not have stayed, and truth be told I'm not terribly attached to SL. If it'd disappear tomorrow I doubt I'd shed a tear, nor join any other virtual world.

In many ways I fall outside of the majority: I strongly prefer animal avis because they don't get asked to dance, they don't get those horrible, icky Horny Net Geeks hitting on them, and I feel comfortable being in animal shape. I utterly despise being in human shape in SL when I am around people. That does somewhat reflect my RL personality: Shy, introverted, not interested in people nor caring one iota how I come across to people.

Did SL affect my RL? My appearance in SL certainly did not :) It did however make me overall more content and happy because I can do things in SL that I can't or don't want to do in RL. It also taught me that block/mute works in RL too. Just zoning out despicable, hateful, unpleasant people and surrounding myself with positive, happy people made a huge difference. SL taught me that drama is created by losers for losers and that there's never anything good coming from it.

It did affect my marriage though. The love of my life is in SL as well, she joined a little bit after I did. I would say in the beginning it affected us negatively as we spent time online, sitting next to each other in RL but not interacting in RL nor SL. Nowadays it actually brought us closer together. Somehow I doubt that it was due to the appearance of our avis. If anything, it was the different interactions and activities that brought us closer, because it gave us both a creative outlet, something diverse enough that we could always talk about and of course it gave us new friends.

Last but not least, without SL I would probably not be alive. Only thanks to people who barely knew me back then was I able to afford the cancer surgery I had three years ago. That experience alone, strangers showing profound kindness to someone they did not know, changed my generally pretty negative view on humanity. Now I know that there's other kind souls out there, people who love to help, people who selflessly enjoy making others happy.

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Hi Xiola,

Welcome to the forums in your CM role.

I would love to see more of you here, interacting and making the forums a better place. I would also adore to see Lindens in world and interacting with Residents again.

When you look at other games you see the sucess the community teams have every day, but for so long these forums have been mouldering and rotting, because past CEO edicts stopped you being in our community.

 

To answer your question - since 2006 SL and my being here has had a huge, life changing impact on my life. SADLY I will not disclsoe how, because the trolls and nasty people your company have allowed to breed and flourish in this venue will rip me to shreds.

 

Have a great day and don't be a stranger.

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Maybe many people are clueless which of their avatars she is asking about, too, so remain silent ;)

But the things people who don´t take it too literally and write about how Second Life, less so their avatar, impacted their life, are very interesting to read.

For me, there were good things and bad things, the best impact on my life is that I can do things I can´t in the more ordinary life, I´m mainly roleplaying and can´t really command the elements as a mage and such things unfortunately in the other part of my life, and, still better, that I have a handful of friends through SL with whom I share that and more, people I´d most probably never met else. It distracted me in a difficult time of my life, too, as with many things it´s impossible to say if good or bad, as you never know how it had been else :)

My avatar(s) itself/themselves, I like them, I have fun with them, but as a roleplayer I rely on words most of all, the avatars, mine and others' of course are a great visual addition, I´d not return to forum-based-RP, but my avatars themselves hardly have any impact on my 'RL'...apart from having made me poorer ;) 

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