Second Life is an online, virtual community, where essentially, the “game” is freedom. Users, or “Residents” do whatever they please, from building houses, making friends, and everything in between.
Joining Second Life is my first venture into the world of online gaming, or virtual communities. I spent the first hour of my visit creating an avatar (mine was human and female, though the vampire option seemed interesting) and getting the hang of movement, walking, running, flying, and teleporting to different scenes and areas of the game. After getting a handle on the logistics, I made my first (and only) attempt and communication and making a “friend”. I put out that I was new to Second Life and would love some insight on what exactly I was to do as a resident. Was there a “game” with a goal or mission? Am I just to wander around and make friends?
I was met with some initial rude responses that I needed to move to the beginner’s area (who know that the opening page wasn’t the beginner’s area?). Then, I seemed to make a “friend” who helped me understand what a virtual community was all about, and where to go, how to buy land, build a house etc. My new “friend” also gave me some tips about accepting gifts from strangers and warned me that there were some malicious characters out there, including rapists. Whoa! Another avatar can rape me on Second Life?! I was shocked, and expressed that to my new “friend”. After we finished out chat, I thanked my “friend” for their help and told him/her that I would not talk to any unsavory characters or rapists. At this point, my “friend” told me that they were, indeed, a rapist, and had offered me a gift that would allow them to take control of my avatar’s body. SO. I immediately signed off and deleted my account and will not be venturing back into the wonderful world of Second Life. Sorry, but virtual communities are simply not for me. I think that even without an experience like my own, I am simply not the right match for a virtual community.
Did anyone have a similar experience with Second Life?
Does anyone have more experience with online gaming/virtual communities? Did I go about it in the wrong way?