Second Life Shame?

” Second Life is not a fart in a crowded elevator; it’s a fun, virtual world. Don’t be afraid to admit that you dig it, even if it can stink sometimes.”

I recently stumbled across a wonderful article about SL written on a hard-core gamer blog called “MMORPG” (that’s a clickable link). Many people, myself included, have considered SL to be the red headed stepchild of the gamer world and something that you admit only in shameful tones.

Several years ago, I needed to upgrade my computer to keep up with the ever-changing and fast-moving developments of Second Life graphics. I was using a laptop at the time (I’ve since gotten smart and switched to a desktop, but that’s another post for another day). I walked into the store, and a sales associate asked me how he could help me. I told him I was looking for a gaming laptop. “Oh, for your son?” said this 12-year-old (not really but geez). My cheeks burning in embarrassment, I said “No…umm… for me.” He looked at me oddly (me being this middle aged woman with grey in her hair) and said, “Oh…of course. What game do you play?”

I cringed. This was the question I’d been dreading. I hung my head. My cheeks burned with embarrassment. “Second Life” I mumbled.

He craned his neck forward, brow crinkling in concentration as he tried to understand what I’d said. “I’m sorry?” he inquired.

“Not as sorry as me” I mumbled to myself. Cheeks aflame, I looked into this young man’s face and stated, too loudly, “Second Life!”

Several patrons on the other side of the store looked up, startled. The clerk smirked. Then he snickered.

Oh God. I just wanted to die. Will the floor please open up and swallow me? Now? I covered my face with one hand and sighed.

Still smirking, the young man showed me several laptops. I chose one, made the purchase and scurried out of the store as fast as I could, the snickers following me out the door. I could just imagine the chat amongst the 20-something sales associates. “Oh god, look at that pathetic old lady gettin’ her jollies in Second Life” they would guffaw.


However, as most SLers know, Second Life is more about just a 3-D sex site. Yes, there’s that too, but the user created content is what keeps Second Life alive and flourishing. The content creators. The musicians, the clubs, the landscapers, the causes that raise thousands of RL dollars from SL events — There is so much more to SL than just sex.

This article in the MMORPG website talks about the bad rep that SL has and how this platform needs to be taken seriously in the world of gaming and 3-D creation.

My favorite quote from the article is this: ” Second Life is not a fart in a crowded elevator; it’s a fun, virtual world. Don’t be afraid to admit that you dig it, even if it can stink sometimes.”

Read the article and see the Drax File episode that Beau Hindman did. Let’s all come out of the virtual closet and quit being ashamed of something that is so amazingly beautiful.

Here’s the link to the article: “There’s No Shame In Playing Second Life.”

Here’s the DRAX file episode:

I remain respectfully yours,
~ Suzanne Piers, ZoHa Islands Social Media

Linden Labs Announces Sponsorship of the Drax Files: World Makers

Linden Labs has announced that they will be sponsoring The Drax Files: World Makers. In these videos, Draxtor Despres creates videos that highlight and present the stories of some of the many talented people who are creating incredible things in Second Life.

Contrary to popular opinion, Second Life is more than a bunch of depraved sex addicts and married people looking for a disease-free way to cheat on their spouses. Second Life is full of creative people with amazing things to offer. There are artists to educators, game makers, fashion designers, community builders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, musicians, magicians, and more who are making and doing wonderful things in Second Life. I’ve enjoyed watching the videos that the Drax Files: World Makers produces.

“[Drax manages to present] their stories in a way that shows not only the creative power of the platform, but also the unique personalities that make up the global community of Second Life users.” says Linden Labs in their press release. “As compelling as the series is for those of us already familiar with Second Life and stories like these, it’s also extremely powerful in communicating the magic of Second Life to those who haven’t yet experienced it firsthand.”

Having been in Second Life for five and a half years, I see myself, as well as a lot of people around the grid, developing a kind of blasé attitude. You can’t be in world for more than a year or two without being touched by some kind of person who rips you off emotionally or financially, because just like in RL, there are people who use and abuse you, and who love to stir up and create drama. It is very easy to get jaded. I used to run a club in Second Life, and don’t get me started about temperamental artists…. ugh.

Recently I have had a really fun experience — introducing someone to Second Life for the very first time. I’d forgotten about how exciting this virtual world appears to someone who has never experienced it before. Her genuine excitement and awe about all that SL has to offer has been contagious. I’ve started looking at SL through her eyes, and remembering and enjoying that sense of wonder and amazement I used to feel in SL. My friend has been in world now for about a month and a half, and interestingly enough people do not believe she is a noob. They think she is an alt account, because thanks to me, she looks amazing. However, all you have to do is watch her try to manipulate her avie in world, and you will know she is a noob! She’s been coming over to my house in RL and using my computer while she becomes familiar with SL, and I sit over her shoulder and help her. We have laughed until the tears come over watching her try and move around SL. I had forgotten how difficult it can be. She falls off stairs, runs into walls, loses her camera inside things. and runs into people.

One of the things that the Drax Files videos do is remind us about all that is good and wonderful about SL. That there is more good than evil in SL. Second Life is amazing place full of marvelous and wonderful content creators of all types. Draxtor really looks for people to interview who contribute some of these amazing things in SL.  He focuses on the many talented people in SL, many of whom make their entire living from businesses such as estate owners, services such as wedding planners, and content creators who sell their items in SL and in the marketplace.

In order to ensure that the Drax Files continues, Linden Labs has elected to sponsor it. The Drax Files is a labor of love for Draxtor, but there are real production costs associated with creating something of this quality.  Linden Labs was quick to point out, however, that this sponsorship has no impact on Draxtor’s editorial independence. They do not plan on taking control or trying to dictate what stories are told or how they are presented in the series. They wanted to reassure the audience that their agreement does not have any impact on his other work (his podcasts, for example). All it means is that Draxtor will be able to continue to produce new episodes of The Drax Files: World Makers series each month, which we can all enjoy and which Linden Lab can use in support of their Second Life marketing efforts.

Below is a fun video entitled: The Drax Files World Makers: Stories from Second Life. It is self-described as: “In the digital universe known as Second Life, a vibrant global community transcends boundaries of cultural, ethnic and generational nature: with unlimited possibilities to explore, make or sell anything one can imagine, stories of individual empowerment abound.

Watch the video and remember the wonder and beauty that Second Life is meant to be. Look at it through the eyes of my noob friend. Don’t dwell on the negative; but rather focus on the positive. I encourage you to use the Destination Guide and visit some of the most amazing user created content in the Virtual Universe!

I remain respectfully yours,
~ Suzanne Piers, ZI Social Media Manager