I spend a few years, logging on and living a virtual existence on Second Life, it all started when my best friend Peanut told me about it which around the time when I was having a long distance relationship with someone in the US. He figured it was the best way to spend time with someone online but I really didn’t check it out until months later. I was surprised to see a wide virtual world with a population of 10.5 million as of 2007…you can just imagine how many more people have signed on since then. Believe it or not I have had a whole lot of experiences on Second Life even behind the animated pixels of my avatars Diwata Nightfire and Bituwin Wirefly. If you would give me a moment I will introduce you to both and explain their histories in the virtual world.
Diwata Nightfire, was my first entry into Second Life she had a teenage crush on some popular DJ a few days after she stepped in-world, met a few friendly Filipinos, learned how to design clothes which later allowed her to open a tiny clothing and accessories store, hung around a pretty good crowd, and got a good reputation at very popular cafe. She usually dressed in rocker girl outfits, but also liked to pretty up in heels. She fell inlove with the avatar of my now ex-fiance who was really only on Second Life because she asked him to check it out, broke her heart and decided step off-world. Dramatically, she reminds me of a whole lot of fun but mostly a whole lot of pain. She’s the distant memory of things that now seem like a long dream.
Bituwin Wirefly, made her entry into Second Life on August 25 2008, she was born because I needed to escape the people who kept asking about my current single status, Where is he? What happened to the both of you? Didn’t he come visit you in real life? Weren’t you going to get married? Even online the noise and the questions wouldn’t stop, and I knew that at some point, because of how everything moved so fast in that world, he would be in the arms of someone else, someone I knew I couldn’t stand that (at least at that moment). All her friends know her as Bit, she’s always in a cheerful mood but started out with tears streaming from her eyes as she pranced around the cafe that Di once hung out at. She was more of my emotional outlet, I decorated her the way I saw fit. But I made sure she always had little flaws, a big tummy, a huge butt, a quirky way of walking and standing…I changed the way she looked almost every month, or everyday, depending on how I felt.
Obviously Bit lived a better virtual life than Di, she took on a crowd in the same cafe, but she did it with more confidence and style than Di. She was adored and envied by a lot of people, and even as I traveled and still travel in her virtual pocket in world, she had made a name for herself, lived the way I could only dream of, in a bohemian inspired apartment in the sky. She was well known, even by others who she didn’t know. She’s made really good friends, met a few people who were keepers and some who just didn’t last in her friends list. She built furniture, she’s DJ’ed online although she isn’t officially one, she’s hosted in Jazz Clubs which she thoroughly enjoyed, she took part in conversations with people all over the world and she danced…she dances A LOT.
A month ago a few of my/Bit’s friends that have left Second Life, returned and are coming online more often, so I made sure I shed some of my RL time to spend online with them. I’d go on and wait at night for one of them, come on in the afternoon when I’m not even supposed to. I’d spare a big chunk of my weekend home, was even planning to miss one of Jonar’s recordings to see if I can catch them online. I had already been stalling one Saturday playing a virtual board game with them when, a guy they’re both crazy about logs on, and suddenly one of them jump off the game board, walk away to look at a building!! It was of course a plan to get his attention. It bothered me, I was trying to fit them in my schedule so that we can have time together and once we were actually sitting down and having fun it all goes to waste for one virtual guy she’s not even supposed to be going crazy over because she’s committed.
I believe a lot of time I spent on Second Life, is not all wasted I can not deny that I’ve had fun, and enjoyed myself with other friends, laughed, and explored alot. But never again will I let that computer generated world get in the way of anything in RL that I want to do, whether it be lounging around in my pj’s on a Sunday morning, or reading a book when I get home from work, and definitely not ANY of Jonar’s recording sessions. I’ve already decided once that Second Life was only going to be a source of entertainment for me, something I can come to when I feel like it, when I have nothing else to do, when I’m totally bored out of my wits, when feel the urge to shop for my avatar and when I need to pay rent on my land. I should not be obligated to go online, obligated to schedule meeting them online and getting dumped because of a guy (yeah I’m bitter about that! haha!).
To an outsider the paragraphs above would seem totally ridiculous, but I suppose it’s just the same as people who play RP games, or take part in online gaming, Second Life is considered as a game by a lot of people after all. And yes, I totally admit that there was a time I drowned myself in-world, engrossed in everything I went through on Second Life, stayed online for days on end, but, then I started to realize the real life I had needed some living too, and just like a few months ago, I can say yet again….that Second Life will stay and forever will be, for entertainment purposes only.
Besides…who wants a Second Life when the first one keeps getting better? 😀