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Hey everyone I am a university student doing a masters degree in anthropology and I wanted to ask a few questions?

All of you data will be kept anonymous and none of it will be published, I just need to conduct research for a small research project.

What are the cultures in Second Life and can you describe yours? What does it mean to you?

Is your identity in Second Life more important than your real life identity?

How were your communities created?

Anything else you would like to tell me go ahead

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1 hour ago, GiloGiles said:

Hey everyone I am a university student doing a masters degree in anthropology and I wanted to ask a few questions?

All of you data will be kept anonymous and none of it will be published, I just need to conduct research for a small research project.

What are the cultures in Second Life and can you describe yours? What does it mean to you?

Is your identity in Second Life more important than your real life identity?

How were your communities created?

Anything else you would like to tell me go ahead

My SL identity is a part of myself that only gets exposed here. My personality is the same whether it be SL or RL. So for me, there is no difference in importance. 

Here, we can be our perfect selves on an appearance level. The rest is "just us", as imperfect as our RL selves. 

Our friendships here are very real, even if they don't go into RL. I can't speak for everyone, but that has been the consensus of most I have chatted with. Some of us CAN get emotionally hurt here, or hurt others.  I was upset with a dear friend because she didn't tell me she was going to be away from SL for a month. 

I have no idea how our larger communities were created. I can give you an example on a small scale though. I'm living with my partner on a plot of land owned by a friend I met here on the forums. She has many people living there on her land, so a community is created through that in a sense. I don't know our neighbours yet, and we may or may not get along. We aren't being charged rent, but that isn't always the norm. That's just blind luck having become friends with the right person for the right reasons. RL money is involved here, so that is always a factor. It depends on why someone is in SL. And there can be many reasons.

I personally tend to stay in Adult regions, because I am very sexual. Here in the forums we have a wide range of people, and it can be difficult sometimes, for me at least. 

Looking at our posted pics and Flickr's can also give you an idea of who we are as individuals. And reading our posts. Be prepared though, our Flickr's can be XXX rated. But also expressions of friendships. And vanity.

 It would be nice to meet you inworld, so we could have this discussion in realtime. I want to help with your project. 

Edited by Bagnu
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1 hour ago, GiloGiles said:

Hey everyone I am a university student doing a masters degree in anthropology and I wanted to ask a few questions?

All of you data will be kept anonymous and none of it will be published, I just need to conduct research for a small research project.

What are the cultures in Second Life and can you describe yours? What does it mean to you?

Is your identity in Second Life more important than your real life identity?

How were your communities created?

Anything else you would like to tell me go ahead

As we tell every college student that comes here to get the SL Residents to give them answers to a bunch of questions:   Go inworld and discover for yourself.

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1 hour ago, GiloGiles said:

Hey everyone I am a university student doing a masters degree in anthropology and I wanted to ask a few questions?

All of you data will be kept anonymous and none of it will be published, I just need to conduct research for a small research project.

What are the cultures in Second Life and can you describe yours? What does it mean to you?

Is your identity in Second Life more important than your real life identity?

How were your communities created?

Anything else you would like to tell me go ahead

You're not going to get an overall look at SL culture in the forums IMO.  It's a miniscule representation of who uses it.  I'd have to say the majority of SL users never visit the forums and some that do only do so in the Answers section when they have an issue.  Any data you get, if you just ask here,  will be pretty irrelevant.

Edited by RowanMinx
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23 minutes ago, RowanMinx said:

You're not going to get an overall look at SL culture in the forums IMO.  It's a miniscule representation of who uses it.  I'd have to say the majority of SL users never visit the forums and some that do only do so in the Answers section when they have an issue.  Any data you get, if you just ask here,  will be pretty irrelevant.

Very true that this is a miniscule representation. And I agree most never visit here, or even know the forums exist. I feel any and all information is relevant though. Inworld is a big place, but I feel starting out here is a good step.

Edited by Bagnu
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2 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

This is brilliant thankyou, I will go into the game. This all helps me as well. I really appreciate it.

Try not to treat this as a game. SL can be better compared to a sandbox, an enhanced chatroom, but ultimately it's a framework upon which the users build what we know as SecondLife. The vast majority of content (well over 99%) is user-created. The environments are user created. The clothing, attachmentments, and everything you use to turn your avatar into what you want it to look like, is all created by other users.
SecondLife is not a game, a game has a goal which must be achieved. A boss to be beaten, it has a clearly defined purpose. These elements are absent in SecondLife, except of course for the games that were created for SecondLife and to be played inside SecondLife, by both Linden Labs and the users that use SecondLife.

Addendum: A lot of damage is done to people when others come in and treat the users as players, or even worse, as soulless characters which are part of "just another game". SecondLife's users are real people, with real feelings, which can really get hurt. Friendships are real, relationships are real and all the emotions are very much real.

Edited by Fritigern Gothly
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56 minutes ago, Fritigern Gothly said:

A lot of damage is done to people when others come in and treat the users as players, or even worse, as soulless characters which are part of "just another game". SecondLife's users are real people, with real feelings, which can really get hurt. Friendships are real, relationships are real and all the emotions are very much real.

This is not a game just as you said. IMO that realization takes a bit of time .The realization started for me when I developed friendships and relationships . Not everyone is here for that. I wasn't. Things change. They certainly have for me.

Edited by Bagnu
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11 minutes ago, Gabriele Graves said:

We have culture now?  :D

Pearl sheepishly puts her head between her arms and mumbles...Omg , am I slowly becoming a part of this culture too? 

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38 minutes ago, Fritigern Gothly said:

I know that was a tongue-in-cheek remark, but in all seriousness I do think we could view the users of SL as part of a subculture, regardless of how we choose to experience SL. 

I have to agree with this. And there are subcultures within this subculture!!!

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37 minutes ago, Fritigern Gothly said:

I know that was a tongue-in-cheek remark, but in all seriousness I do think we could view the users of SL as part of a subculture, regardless of how we choose to experience SL. 

I agree that we have a culture, after a fashion. 

For the longest time I tried to get a handle on what people liked about second life. Myself, I would come in for a week or two, look around and get bored. Then I found bit by bit that there was a larger culture, shared references, history. That is half of what hooked me (the other half was realizing that virtual worlds could be valuable in fighting "cabin fever" and winter depression).  

I have to say "after a fashion" now, though. Outside of VV1 I'm not sure how many people would get it if I said I want to make teh secks, referred to the War in Jessie, blathered about hippos or said !quit. 

Meaning that the shared references are probably not quite so shared now. It's been ten years (for me, 17 for SL as a whole), people have come and gone and more importantly the old cultural references have (as far as I'm able to see) been half forgotten except for the older residents (and in our youth-centered culture, old age is always gauche) 

So I think that there's a VW culture, but as time goes on I feel less and less qualified to describe it in any kind of detail ...

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6 hours ago, Bagnu said:

My SL identity is a part of myself that only gets exposed here. My personality is the same whether it be SL or RL. So for me, there is no difference in importance. 

Here, we can be our perfect selves on an appearance level. The rest is "just us", as imperfect as our RL selves. 

Our friendships here are very real, even if they don't go into RL.

I absolutely agree -one hundred percent. 

Virtual world, real feelings.

And yes, at least 5 or 10 years ago I would have argued that all the subcultures you find on the internet can be found in SL. That's what I meant when I said (inworld) that SL is a microcosm of the internet. But as I said in my last post -I'm a bit more hesitant to state that without disclaimers (disclaimers such as mentioning that I might well be wrong)

Edited by Han Held
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53 minutes ago, Fritigern Gothly said:

I know that was a tongue-in-cheek remark, but in all seriousness I do think we could view the users of SL as part of a subculture, regardless of how we choose to experience SL. 

this is true from the pov of a person observing Second Life from the outside. No different really from observing a real world nation from the outside

i have always thought of SL people as a nation. For sure within the nation we are quite diverse but we do have some things that are unique to us. Much of which is defined by our every day language. We have words, phrases which influence how we see our world/nation, culture even, which don't make much sense to people who are not of the nation

words like rez and terrorport for example. Words  which describes a action and/or consequence, which when heard by an outsider make little sense

then there are deeper things like: How do you know who is a secondlifer at a RL concert?  Those who are still dancing after the band has stopped playing

nobody from the outside will understand this latter in the way that SL people do. Is a double entrendre aspect to this as well. The double being that as a people we are just as happy making our own music

double entrende is a quite a pronounced cultural aspect of secondlifers I think, at least to an outside observer.  Which I also think comes from the pervasiveness of the pseudo-anonymity component of the nation. Which goes to something even deeper. The cultural willingness to accept that all is not as it can seem

 

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13 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

What are the cultures in Second Life and can you describe yours? What does it mean to you?

I log in to play some skill games, maybe take a photo, do some coding if in the mood while enjoying my coffee in RL and then log out so it doesn't have to mean something special.
 
13 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Is your identity in Second Life more important than your real life identity?

It's just role play.

13 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

How were your communities created?

You will have to ask their creators.

13 hours ago, GiloGiles said:

Anything else you would like to tell me go ahead

Log in to Second Life and have a look, it's still a decent game in 2020.

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Just now, Nick0678 said:
I log in to play some skill games, maybe take a photo, do some coding if in the mood while enjoying my coffee in RL and then log out so it doesn't have to mean something special.
 

It's just role play.

You will have to ask their creators.

Log in to Second Life and have a look, it's still a decent game in 2020.

If you think this is a game of any sort, then perhaps you should look  elsewhere.

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3 minutes ago, Bagnu said:

If you think this is a game of any sort, then perhaps you should look  elsewhere.

Sorry but it has been for 11 years a game for me and always will be.
You can of course think of it as anything you like, doesn't bother me at all how you experience it and don't really care to be honest.
Peace.
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Just now, Nick0678 said:
Sorry but it has been for 11 years a game for me and always will be.
You can of course think of it as anything you like, doesn't bother me at all how you experience it and don't really care to be honest.
Peace.

That is your choice of course, and now you have made it clear to others as well. If you haven't previously.

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What are the cultures in Second Life and can you describe yours? What does it mean to you?

Is your identity in Second Life more important than your real life identity?

How were your communities created?

Anything else you would like to tell me go ahead

The culture in Second Life is one of co-creation, everyone participates to create or participate in experiences, however they want to define that for themselves at the moment. Its personal meaning comes from how it permits new sources of growth and meaningful new experiences, or the way its a source of new activities or connections. Until quite recently, the shift to visual paradigm was a challenge, but with the right approach, there's a lot of depth because you can ascribe meaning to virtual things and experiences as deeply as you please. (protip: it's way more satisfying when you aim for as deep as possible.)

Second Life was an experimental workshop for identity. For people working on self-realization, that can be incredible if they put themselves on the right path or approach to maximize what they learn about themselves. For some of us the journey has been considerable and there are so many individuals who were essential to small or large steps taken along that path. We think there are some phenomenal ideas and people in circulation, with lots of overlapping communities for most subcultures. My identity in Second Life is authentic to the identity in first life because it helped inform the directions grown for over a decade. Done right, identity is portable across all mediums because it's authentic to something central within yourself.

The best communities are created when people come together and share in ideas in ways that maximize their individual potential in some whole that's greater than the sum of its individuals. That, in and of itself, is important cultural knowledge you can develop here too.

The most interesting things on Second Life are what's going on inside you as you experience them, so pay close attention always.

Edited by Chroma Starlight
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9 hours ago, Bagnu said:

If you think this is a game of any sort, then perhaps you should look  elsewhere.

People use SL for all sorts of reasons.  It may very well be a game for others.  Nick was answering questions as they relate to him, which is what the OP asked.  You cannot tell others what SL is to them - you can only speak for what SL is to you.

 

I have argued with people in the past about whether or not SL is a game, but only when they try to claim that it is a game for everyone regardless of how others view things..

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30 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I have argued with people in the past about whether or not SL is a game, but only when they try to claim that it is a game for everyone regardless of how others view things..

Perhaps, to some, this argument is the game.

Edited by Ardy Lay
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39 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

People use SL for all sorts of reasons.  It may very well be a game for others.  Nick was answering questions as they relate to him, which is what the OP asked.  You cannot tell others what SL is to them - you can only speak for what SL is to you.

 

I have argued with people in the past about whether or not SL is a game, but only when they try to claim that it is a game for everyone regardless of how others view things..

Fair, people come into SL for different reasons. But we ARE real people here with real feelings. To me referring to SL as a game ignores that fact, and trivializes our relationships with others here. In a game, people don't actually hurt others or get hurt. In SL those are very real possibilities on an emotional level. 

Edited by Bagnu
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53 minutes ago, Bagnu said:

 In a game, people don't actually hurt others or get hurt. In SL those are very real possibilities on an emotional level. 

People can be emotionally hurt during any activity, game or not.

 

54 minutes ago, Bagnu said:

But we ARE real people here with real feelings.

While we may all be real people, there truly are some that leave their real selves at the SL door, so to speak.

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1 hour ago, Bagnu said:

Fair, people come into SL for different reasons. But we ARE real people here with real feelings. To me referring to SL as a game ignores that fact, and trivializes our relationships with others here. In a game, people don't actually hurt others or get hurt.. In SL that is a very real possibility on an emotional level. 

Well don't be worried about gamers because every honest role player/gamer will come and straight tell you many times/show you in many ways that Second Life is only a role play game for them and nothing more. Login, play, have fun, log out. No questions asked, don't care about you in other ways (unless stated otherwise but that happens very rarely).

Those who usually are hurt on emotional level just like in real life are hurt by people who are not honest first of all with themselves and that is regardless if they experience SL as a virtual world or a chat app or a dating platform or SL is an extension of themselves or whatever. That dishonesty is what makes other people who interact with them to have false expectations/take things seriously and eventually get disappointed.
Edited by Nick0678
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