Thoughts on a third-rezday plummet

Height 300 by ceoln, on Flickr

Just me and the sky and a prim

When I first came to Second Life, three years ago last Sunday, I was mostly intrigued by the idea that you could make things there, in this “virtual world” where the laws of physics would be perhaps kinder, and more mutable, than in the real world.

Although we all know that the difficulty of The First Hour Experience is one of the Big Problems with the platform today, I wasn’t a victim of it: I was hooked after about ninety seconds. A whole, and apparently pretty large and complex and random, world to explore, without having to drive anywhere or get dressed or even get out of bed! And (see above) where anyone could just stick out a hand and build random things! Amazing!

For awhile I and/or it was crashing so much (you kids don’t know how easy you’ve got it these days!) that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to stand it, but it and I got used to each other, and I stuck around.

It’s been a fascinating three years. As I say probably far too often, I came for the building and scripting and stuff, but stayed for the people. I still love the building and scripting, but I’m pretty sure that I spend less time on that than I do on talking to friends, dancing in clubs, meeting new people, and generally hanging out.

There is for obscure reasons a tradition in some subcultures of Second Life, that involves leaping naked from the sky, holding an umbrella, on one’s rezday.

How sure are we about this?

How sure are we about this?

So there I am, again ‘way up in the virtual sky, on a slightly more sophisticated virtual sky platform (my floating rocks build, which is still up there over the Hughes Rise park), with my virtual umbrella, pondering the drop.

It really is a significant drop, isn't it?

It really is a significant drop, isn't it?

This would be a good place for Deep and Significant Thoughts about Second Life, virtual worlds, the real world, the nature of consciousness, and so on. If any thoughts like that come to me while I’m typing here, I’ll try to pass them along. :)

Being Dale has, I’m about 100% certain, been a good thing for me. And continues to be. Different people have very different attitudes toward, relationships with, their virtual selves. For me it’s pretty simple: I am Dale Innis. Saying that I identify with my avatar is as much of an understatement (and an overstatement) as saying that I identify with my RL body. (Much more on that thought here.) My Second Life friends are friends of mine, just like my First Life friends are friends of mine. I don’t necessarily know where my SL friends live in RL, or what they do for a living, or whether they are married or have children; but since I can’t remember that sort of fact about my RL friends for more than five minutes either :) that’s not a very large consideration for me. The main difference, really, is that it’s so much easier to visit the SL ones.

Completely naked?

Completely naked?

(Yes, completely naked; don’t complain to me, that’s the tradition.)

I continue to think, as I said all those years ago, that when we eventually look back on these very early days of virtual worlds, we will see it as the beginning of a huge and important change in the ways humans live their lives. Exactly what that change will be, I don’t pretend to know. I used fiction to speculate about it some back in Meaties; I like that story quite a bit (he said modestly), and it’s one possible answer to that question. It might even be something like the right one; time will tell.

It's pretty chilly up here.

It's pretty chilly up here.

Lots of people that I know in SL, and even more people that I know of, have been talking lately about the Good Old Days of Second Life, and how it’s going downhill, and the best parts are over, due to some combination of floods of newcomers and ‘bots, bad media reporting, stupid and/or malicious actions by Linden Lab, drama and trollishness, personal burnout, and whatever else.

I do sympathize with the feelings, and I am often puzzled by how completely clueless Linden Lab seems to be about communicating at least with the more engaged and articulate and clued segments of their customer base. I continue to attribute it to organizational randomness rather than to any self-destructive attempt to drive customers away, or even a desire to replace unruly individual customers with large wealthy better-behaved corporate ones (I think the Lindens would like to have both, and are just not all that good at communicating with the former).

And for myself, I’m still having a great time. :) I have my first real store-like things, I’ve been exploring lovely places and having adventures with friends, actually enjoying official organized events, and (of course, still, always) building random odd things (and things that build random odd things).

There have certainly been days and nights when I didn’t feel like going inworld; so I didn’t! But in general when the day is done and I have no more chores, and I can settle down into a comfy chair or bed with my laptop (yay, laptop!) on my lap, and fire up a viewer and find myself in my Park, or my Extropia pod, or wherever, and the IMs from friends, and the freebies from last night’s Midnight Mania boards, and the announcements of new Midnight Mania boards, and the scripting questions, and… all begin to flow in, and I open my inventory to decide what to wear and do some token inventory-sorting, it feels kind of like coming home.

Okay, deep breath...

Okay, deep breath...

Not that I’m knocking First Life; that’s pretty wonderful also. And when talking about Deep Things I think it’s a mistake for me to think of them as two different things. I have a life, and part of it is spent in Second Life, and part of it is spent in other places. And it’s all good. And, in the Spirit of the Season here in the US and A, I’m thankful for all of it.

One, two, three, WAHOOO!

One, two, three, WAHOOO!

In Second Life, I can be a boy, a girl, a panda, a child, a tiny elephant, or a bright shiny sphere. I can fly, I can walk under water, I can build a dirigible with my mind. I can meet people from countries I probably couldn’t find on the globe, and I can meet someone from down the street without knowing it. It has its share of people with issues, of griefers and trolls, of misunderstanding and even some cruelty, but well, that’s humanity for ya. I can build, create, explore, do art, try things out, experiment with my own shape and size and color and consciousness, and hang out and talk with other people who are doing the same kinds of things, and also very different ones.

That makes my life richer. Not my First Life, or my Second Life; just my life.

And not only mine.

Plummeting into the unknown future

Plummeting into the unknown future

So to my friends, my friends-to-be, my “would have been friends except we never actually both logged in at the same time”, and everyone else who’s made these last three years such a blast, and who will I’m sure do the same for the next three, five, seven, a million years, my warmest thanks, and if there’s anything I can do to help make your own journey more interesting and enjoyable, just drop me a line…

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26 Responses

  1. Happy RezDay, Dale ^.^

    My second is coming up, and I had no idea about the “naked jump with umbrella” tradition. Guess I need to get me an umbrella…

    Beyond that ~ thank you for the reminiscence. I feel precisely the same way.

  2. Namaste

    Dale we’ve never met…=^..^=… we do have mutual friends tho.
    Like you…that first 60 seconds hooked me. I logged in on dial up…couldn’t move…couldn’t even see myself, but I knew I had to be here. Three weeks later I again stood at OI…thoroughly confused….but excited.
    My third rezz day is in sight…(no idea ’bout the umbrella thing lol)…And doing a lot of history study of Secondlife this past couple weeks…it looks like there’s always been the *Doom Sayers* {if there’s such a word}.
    I’m more committed now to this platform than I was that first day/week/month.
    It’s the ppl…I can’t script, and my houses look like a box w/a lid…But the friendships I have will keep me here as long as this thing is here.
    As Lalo said…thank you for the wonderful thoughts.
    Brinda

  3. Ty both very much for the comments! :) I got my official Jump umbrella here for 1L, I think:

    http://slurl.com/secondlife/Olive/102/26/61

    Lots of people seem to have rezdays around this time of year. We get idle time around the Solstice? :)

  4. /me tackle hugs Dale

    You enrich my life every day sunshine. Thank you for always being there

  5. Hey! Happy third burpday, pal! I turned three too (http://headburroantfarm.wordpress.com/2009/11/19/i-is-three/) and can understand much of what you say – I don’t have a second life anymore, just my life which includes an amazing virtual dimension. But then it always did – I was trying to explain it all to my old dad recently and he put it quite well when he said I’ve always been looking for doors into other worlds since I was a kid – book, TV, films, roleplaying and now this. He’s right, I’m a lazy traveller that has journeyed far :)

  6. […] am not clear on the correlation between Dale's third rez day and showing his body off, but Dale is a caring and sharing sort of guy.  Having suppressed and […]

  7. Hey! Happy Rezzday you old thing:-))
    What you’ve written is so , so true…
    /admits to scrolling down fast to see the undressing part:-)

    Hugs*

  8. And I am thankful for dear Ches, an’ for HBA, an’ for very generous Pan. Hope you enjoyed the noodity. :D

  9. Happy personal new year again, Dale! With your rez day just before Thanksgiving, it couldn’t have been more perfect if it was planned because I am so grateful for you, wonderful friend. You make the world(s) better places. :))

  10. Happy Rezday nucklehead! it wouldn’t be the same place without you :)

    • /me blushes attractively. :) And apologized for having neglected some of these nice comments for so long!

  11. Happy 3rd Dale! Love the naked umbrella jump. Going to have to get me one of those. You’re one of the most original and true people I’ve met in Sl or any other VW. Keep on keeping on. SS

    • Awww, thank you much! The SLURL for a useful (and free) umbrella for the purpose is in this comment thread somewhere…

  12. Happy Rezday Dale hope you had a great day. I think we should be doing that in RL maybe less of a drop though. What fun :)

    • An RL version is… an interesting thought. Either a much smaller drop, or the use of parachutes… :)

  13. happy rezday dale!!!
    i myself never undertook to leap naked with an umbrella. but it seems a worthwhile tradition; after all, naked is how we should have arrived in the world (noobie clothing is just wrong. we all know it. clothing shame is the first sl emotion most of us feel).
    i hope you don’t land on the fence.
    congrats.

    • Thanks much, Seraphine! I think that is indeed the point of the nudity (if not the umbrella).

      I actually landed among the evergreens in a neighbor’s prim-land parcel. I didn’t post that picture. :)

  14. Okay, I think we’ve basked in your nudity rezday glory long enough.

    How about a new post?

  15. What a great post, Dale. I actually delayed opening an account for several weeks. After watching some video tutorials on Building I _knew_ I would get sucked in. And I was, almost immediately; even though my machine really couldn’t handle SL and 10 minutes without a crash was a good session. I soon found out that the people were much more interesting than the “stuff” even if the “stuff” was fascinating at times.

  16. […] I mentioned in my Third Rezday post, my own First Hour experience, back on the old 2006 Orientation Island with the path and the […]

  17. […] Dale did it last year; now you get […]

  18. […] find many pictures from over the years (Raul’s↑ from 2008 is one of my favourites but Dale↑ is an expert as well). Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll go get some first aid. Those rocks […]

  19. […] to stick around means one other thing on this Rez Day and for this you can blame Dale and Gany (although I don’t know where it started). Once I read their posts earlier this year […]

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