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Do any of you have a real life presence through your avatar?


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I am curious if there are people who are known as or by their avatars identity as it relates to real life and other social media platforms. I am on Facebook as Hunter Stern but I also have a real life Facebook account for immediate family, BUT they also know I identify as Hunter Stern for the most part, including my listed birthday (rez day in this sense). I share my art and experiences of SL through Hunter Stern and likewise, my real life expressions and adventures on there and this gives my other family and friends who are not associated with SL a glimpse into this virtual domain and a chance to know me a little better.

I am known in the town I live in as Hunter Stern, by artist acquaintance (we have a robust art community with well known oil painters, sculptors, wood craftsmen etc) Ofcourse many of them don't grasp the concept of digital or virtual worlds and 3D art the same way.

Do people find it odd that some would identify a mix of both in their lives, or could this be a norm and common for some?

I know many artists (actors and authors in particular) who tend to have pseudo-names or aliases, but in a way this isn't a matter of alias for me, whereas if I were given a choice to change my legal name it would be Hunter Stern.

I bring this topic up because lately I have noted that I am going back and forth between accounts as well, reposting content because not everything can be seen by non-friends to an account. This might be bothersome for some and/or confusing , but I'm quite content with it for the time being myself.

Some of my immediate family and friends don't understand the context of some images (for example, me out dancing at a club with friends on avatars) they have even asked what it was all about (and yes I soooo wanted to push them to sign up with SL, but on the other hand SL is truly a unique place that can literally make you feel as though you are starting from square one in terms of learning something new, and we do have a high population of technical minds in SL (call them nerds if you like,lol). I honestly don't know if it would be fruitful anyways to invite or have close real life friends directly in SL just to see what it is about and what it is I do or how I do it. How much does SL impact your RL?

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While in SL I do not mind to include my RL, to friends. Who I am in RL, where I am from, more details like that. The other way around though I do not. I would not like RL friends or relatives to sign up in SL because SL is my get away from RL every now and then. Its for me and for the people I meet online. It would limit me because in SL I do not have the same behavioral restrictions I have in RL, and bringing people in I also know in RL would bring those restrictions into SL (hope that makes sense).

If you feel that everything you want to do, and do in SL is completely acceptable to be shared with people in RL, then I guess there is no problem in that. Not for me, but not finding it odd if you like it that way. And I guess you probably have very open minded people in your RL :) 

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1 hour ago, Hunter Stern said:

if I were given a choice to change my legal name it would be Hunter Stern

Surely you can change your legal RL name. Here in the UK, all that is needed is a public announcement that you will be henceforth known as <name>, and that's your legal name from then on. Of course, it would avoid some problems by doing it by Deed Poll, which causes the new name to be officially registered, but a public announcement is all that is legally required. Can't you do something like that where you live? Anyway, to your question...

I have never had any desire to be anything different in SL, and I've always been happy to share who I am - location, age, gender, what I do in RL, etc. etc. In SL, I am the RL me. My SL first name is my RL first name and, if I could have got my RL surname, I would have. So, in one way, I don't have the RL presence in SL that I think you are describing, but, in another way, my only SL presence is the RL me.

ETA: On reflection, if the presence you described - RL me and RL firends - were all in SL as ourselves, I don't think that SL would have the same sort of appeal for me. I fully understand JackSinned's get away attitude and, given the choice, I think I'd prefer it the same way. I don't have a choice, because my RL friends and family are not in SL, but the RL me is.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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1 hour ago, JackSinned said:

While in SL I do not mind to include my RL, to friends. Who I am in RL, where I am from, more details like that. The other way around though I do not. I would not like RL friends or relatives to sign up in SL because SL is my get away from RL every now and then. Its for me and for the people I meet online. It would limit me because in SL I do not have the same behavioral restrictions I have in RL, and bringing people in I also know in RL would bring those restrictions into SL (hope that makes sense).

You are right, but its even worse in my opinion.
I dont tell friends about SL anymore because of a very simple fact. Most people seem to need a goal, a guideline or a scripted story to make a virtual world work for them.
Thats why the majority plays GTA, racing games or ego shooters.
SL offers nothing like this right from the start. They would need to create their own story, their goals or whatever they are up to.
So, its better for them to wait for the next iphone or to stick to the usual games.

Edited by Resi Pfeffer
grammar
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These are great responses :D and yes I do tend to have very open minded friends and family (but then on the other hand not always). I have some family that utterly refuse to accept a friend request for example if it's coming from Hunter Stern and not my legal family name , even though I have explained to them that I spend more time on the Hunter Stern account(s) and I like to stay in touch, but the decision is theirs in the end.

I have been known as Hunter since 1995, infact by a business that sort of took me in when I was going through a medical crisis and Hunter simply stuck. Fast forward to 2004 and I added 'Stern' with the onset goal (as was mentioned above) to pursue outlets in art and creation and took that on as my 'Doing business as' persona. So for me it is more than just a handle or online nickname. You see many online games where people have a handle that they commonly use throughout various platforms and games but most won't directly identify beyond that purpose of the handle or name.

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I have played occasional online MMO games and indeed always used the same nickname on those, and no problem sharing (limited) RL information or use voice chat, because it was just that, a game.

In SL though I keep my RL and SL strictly separated and have a unique SL only name. Some people I know/trust do know quite some RL details, but nothing that would ever lead to full identity. I am a company owner in RL and I would dread to have a bad SL relationship or just a harassing troll that would somehow reach out to RL people or even employees or clients and jeopardise my credibility in that function.

So for me there is no (detailed) RL / SL mixing.

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The honest answer is that I would never dare tell my friends and relatives that I'm in Second Life because of the horrible reputation it has.

The other way, no. For me RL is a place where I can get a break from SL and that's how I want it to be.

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22 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

The honest answer is that I would never dare tell my friends and relatives that I'm in Second Life because of the horrible reputation it has.

That reminded me of something from my very early SL. I was introduced to SL by my cousin's daughter and, like almost all females in SL, she dressed quite sexily - very short skirt etc. One day she decided to show SL to her parents - my cousin, who is quite straight-laced, and her husband. Suddenly, she was dressed like an archetypal librarian lol. She dressed as she thought her mother would like her to dress. And, of course, she only showed them the parts in SL that she wanted them to see. It tickled me, anyway.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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42 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

That reminded me of something from my very early SL. I was introduced to SL by my cousin's daughter and, like almost all females in SL, she dressed quite sexily - very short skirt etc. One day she decided to show SL to her parents - my cousin, who is quite straight-laced, and her husband. Suddenly, she was dressed like an archetypal librarian lol. She dressed as she thought her mother would like her to dress. And, of course, she only showed them the parts in SL that she wanted them to see. It tickled me, anyway.

I hope, her parents didnt join SL after the presentation. She would have been forced to stick to that neat business dress, glasses and updo hairs. :D

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1 hour ago, ChinRey said:

The honest answer is that I would never dare tell my friends and relatives that I'm in Second Life because of the horrible reputation it has.

Same. Even among my game- and nerd friends, I do not announce openly that I have a Second Life account. Only my best friend knows, because I showed it to him once, for the roleplay aspect. One half of the people would instantly think about all the negative stuff and wonder that this weird ***** is still around and the other half wouldn't know about SL, google it and then be confronted with all the negative articles and the weird stuff.

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The only account outside of SL that has the same name is my SL FLickr account.  

I don't tell people anymore about SL because I got tired of the comments and judgement.  I wouldn't really want most of my RL folks in SL, primarily because SL is my break from RL.

Interestingly enough though, way back in my early SL years I told my mother about it and she was intrigued enough to create an account.  Though we share a 'Home' location on the land that I have, we each have our own SL lives that seldom intersect.  

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1 hour ago, Resi Pfeffer said:

I hope, her parents didnt join SL after the presentation. She would have been forced to stick to that neat business dress, glasses and updo hairs. :D

They didn't :)

I'm happy to tell anyone about SL. I find that most of them have never heard of it.

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I thought it would be great if my rl best friend joined when she moved away to the other end of the country.  Her response was "omg isn't that the place for <insert word for nasty adults>" :(  I could not get her to even attempt a log in and see.  She has been here while I was DJing, thought it looked fun but still wouldn't try.   My youngest son told her, its like minecraft for adults .  She said we that's a definite no then. 

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I actually found out about SL through FB, from a person who uses their SL name as their only account name in FB.  She was/is the moderator of a popular FB group in my local area - one of those "I grew up in <area> during the '60's and '70's" type groups, and it turned out - after she told me her RL name - that we had been in orchestra together in high school during the late '70s. She used to post youtube videos on FB of dances that she had choreographed and performed in SL, along with little stories about some of her experiences in SL and how it enabled her to express her creativity in ways no longer possible in her RL.  I was intrigued by the videos she had made, and the stories, so I did some research online about SL and decided to create an account and try it out.  It turns out she is no longer active in SL, due to no longer having a computer able to run SL (something I didn't understand at the beginning, but understand now).  

My very immediate family (husband and grown daughters) know about SL, because I am inworld a lot and my PC is in our living room (which also often has grand kids hanging around) so I keep a very PG rated SL life.  However I rarely mention SL outside of the immediate family - I have mentioned to my sister, my mom and a close friend something along the lines of "I do some stuff in a virtual world" but nothing more as they did not express any interest or curiosity about it.  I don't "like" or "follow" SL group pages on FB, and I have a separate gmail and flicker account under my avi's name for anything SL related (but no FB account for my avi). 

Part of the reason I don't share about being in SL is its reputation part, and part of it is the having to explain why I spend so much time sitting at my computer instead of going out and doing things in RL.  I try to not share any detailed information about my RL in SL - just generalities or things that would not allow anyone to be able to identify me in RL.   I wouldn't mind if other family or friends created SL accounts, though, if any of them were interested.

Edited by moirakathleen
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50 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Like ChinRey, I would never reveal to anyone that I participate in SL, because of its horrible reputation and my tireless efforts to perpetuate it.

Rawr.

*swoons*

Other than the friends and family that have tried SL themselves, no one knows about Rhonda and Clover.

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I try to keep them separate because of the (trying to find an English term lol).. time management? Somewhere along the line I've decided that everything I do in SL will be for hobby and everything I do in RL will be "for real", serious stuff or whatever you want to call it. So if I am working on something in RL, I don't want SL to distract me and vice versa. 

Everything I have for real life me, I have it also for Tamara. Email, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Pinterest etc. i have everything double. And, for example, my SL Youtube is full of tutorials about mesh, Blender, animations, photography and speedpainting. My real life Youtube is full of things that fall under my real life interests. I had to do it like this because my poor attention. If I would go on my real life email and saw an interesting email from SL I would immediately login and go check it. So its better for me to have them separate.

My family and closest friends in RL know most of the things I do in SL and, whenever I see they are interested to see more of what I do I will gladly show it to them (this is because, besides creative part, I don't do anything else lol). My SL Fb is friends with some of my RL friends. Also, closest SL friends know the real me and are connected with the "other me" through more channels than just SL. 

My best RL friend does a great thing with tagging me; if its something for example movie related, he will tag my RL Fb account and if its something related with drawings or photography he always tags my SL Fb. 

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I have brought people I know in rl to sl....and to this day I very much regret it (yes, even despite my desire for more users, which would benefit the entire grid). That probably has a hell of a lot to do with how their sl went/goes, which only serves to perpetuate the negativity that's surrounded the entire platform for some time now. I certainly don't intentionally hide that I participate in sl, but I don't openly invite anyone here anymore. Burn me once, shame on you, burn me twice...it's all my fault. So, yeah, no nvites to friends/family members...maybe strangers, since I feel far less of a connection to them, and won't feel responsible when the very negative, and sometimes very real(to some) things that go on here hit them like a ton of bricks. 

That said, people do know I participate here, I once had a full sim which we used for educational purposes during our co-op homeschool sessions, though the students and parents alike(yes students were not allowed to be on here without a parent at the helm) were never allowed, and never really desired, to leave the sim itself. We also moved that to our own OS grid some years ago, though, so no more worries there,  that particular experience is still going strong.  I attribute its success to the fact that it is "like" sl, without "being" sl. 

In sl I do share some of my rl info, with certain people, what I share(limited), and with whom I share it, varies greatly. I don't have accounts elsewhere on my sl name(ie, social media), but loads of folks know what my sl name is. Some folks in sl know what my rl name is, most that do only know my first name. Loads of folks know I have kids, few know how many, what their names are, or much at all about them, other than the fact that they aren't babies, lol. Some folks know the general area in which I live, ie, that I live almost right on a lake, or even the state I live in, but beyond that...good luck, lol. Anyone that searches me in sl will know hat I look like, but, I'm a rather ordinary person, so no issues there(fr me) either. I liken the fact that I share my rl self to doing so on social media, in limited fashion-folks I don't know there know what I look like too-because it's in my profile, lol. 

I'm not two different people, in the sense that some are, or rather two identities(I don't want that to sound negative, pardon if it does). I just have a different name on this platform, because I wouldn't use my rl name (I could have, since my rl name is an old sl name, I chose not to though). I blend sl and rl in some ways, and in others I don't..it's all subjective and situational. 

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I try to keep my RL firewalled from SL.

I do have other social media related to my SL avatar, but that doesn’t overlap to RL.

Once, when a (clueless) friend from both RL and SL accidentally leaked my identity to someone in SL - they promptly went “RL Stalker” on me and flowers started showing up at my RL workplace from someone I barely knew in SL.

Ever since then, I have been leery.

I’m always at work in RL unless I’m home and either asleep or in SL - so you might say I prefer my partner of 12+ years and friends here to RL anyway :-)

I can’t log out of RL when people get tedious :-D

Edited by AmandaKeen
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1 hour ago, AmandaKeen said:

 “RL Stalker” on me and flowers started showing up at my RL workplace from someone I barely knew in SL.

I'm sorry but I couldn't resist xDhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohU38WJV45c

I know what you're saying. I have had my rl name come up and had people google my location, but I have given them fair warning that they are free to try and stalk me but that they will have to get through my rednecks first (i live in a town of about 9k where everyone knows eachother), and deploying drones for a flyover would prove futile whereas the crows and racoon would make quick work of them xD

Edited by Hunter Stern
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4 hours ago, Hunter Stern said:

I'm sorry but I couldn't resist xDhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohU38WJV45c

I know what you're saying. I have had my rl name come up and had people google my location, but I have given them fair warning that they are free to try and stalk me but that they will have to get through my rednecks first (i live in a town of about 9k where everyone knows eachother), and deploying drones for a flyover would prove futile whereas the crows and racoon would make quick work of them xD

It was pretty freaky, especially as I was working at the kind of place where we were expected to be "normal and upstanding" people :-)

I can FAKE that in RL pretty well, but its not me.........

He finally realized that I didn't need or WANT saving from my strange lifestyle, but it was a hard sell because I look so damn NORMAL :-)

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